Woke up quite early. Calm and decreasing cloud. Hard to understand it’s 1st December and about 18 degree below zero at home in Sweden. Had a soft breakfast and then a latte to go and headed towards Otatara by foot. After some 45 minutes I reached New River Estuary and it was lowtide. I scanned the mudflats with my scope and noted Bar-tailed Godwits (33), Pied Stilts (65), White-faced Herons (45), Pied Oystercatcher (7), Australian Shoveler (12), Black Swans, Masked Lapwings, Red-billed Gulls. I continued to Bushy Point Reserve and saw and heard lot of Tuis, many NZ Pigeons and a couple of Swamp Harriers. Finally I had a walk to Ian and Jenny Gamble’s privately owned reserve, which is known for its significant population of Fernbirds. Ian and Jenny welcomed me and invited me for a refreshing lunch and we had a nice chat. A very friendly and kind couple as well as ardent conservationists. They also offer comfortable homestay accommodation, see their website for more information. Ian took me on a guided walk through the beautiful reserve. And of course did we see Fernbirds, lot of sightings of about 6-7 birds. But gosh, they are very difficult to photograph, even though one get close-up views. At two occasions I had two birds in front of me perched at the top of a little bush, but I wasn’t too cool while my camera tried to focus on the birds. However, it were just lovely to see and hear these birds within the peaceful reserve. After a small chat I said goodbye to Ian, Jenny and Raki (their cute dog). On my way back to Tuatara Lodge I had another scan at the Estuary, but nothing new. I was back to my room at 4pm and had a well-earned power nap. Tomorrow morning I will take the ferry from Bluff to Stewart Island for a five-day stay.
Part of New River Estuary in low-tide, with Bluff hill in far background
One of many New Zealand (Wood) Pigeon.
Just follow the signs and I can highly recommend a visit at Jenny and Ian's reserve.
|Part of the beautiful reserve and the habitat for Fernbirds. A very peaceful place.|
One of about 30 blurry photos of Fernbirds, but please use your imagination:-)
Ian and Jenny Gamble. A kind and happy couple!