24-11-2004

Morning is early this time of year. No time for jetlags. Around 5:30 I got up
and checked the same area as the day before: The Hide, The Stilt Pond and Taramaire
River Mouth. Sky was clear and despite the fact that species were the same, the sightings
were much better. Good numbers of Wrybills, a few New Zealand Dotterels and lots of
noisy White-fronted Tern (Sterna striata, Tara-stern) and Black-billed Gull (Larus
bulleri, Zwartsnavelmeeuw). Both oystercatcher species were present and my first
endemic warbler Grey Gerygone (Gerygone igata, Maori-mangrovezanger) showed.
There were also two Parasitic Jaegers (Stercorarius parasiticus, Kleine Jager) chasing
terns.
Just before noon we departed the centre and took the scenic coastal road to Auckland. We
found yet another New Zealand Dotterel and a few new species for the trip including
Sacred Kingfisher (Todirhamphus sanctus, Heilige IJsvogel), Purple
Swamphen/Pukeko (Porphyrio porphyrio, Purperkoet) and the first New Zealand
Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae, Nieuwzeelandse Duif). We skipped Auckland and
drove on to Orewa where we had our second stay at the Tui Song homestay of Stuart en
Allison Chambers (previously arranged, NZ $ 75,- for an extremely comfortable en-suite
room). After checking in Stuart was kind enough to show us around his area. This
produced my only New Zealand Grebes (Poliocephalus rufopectus, Nieuwzeelandfuut),
two couples at Strakers pond near Waiwera. Also present were New Zealand Scaup
(Aythya novaeseelandiae, Nieuwzeelandse Toppereend) and Grey Fantail (Rhipidura
fuliginosa, Grijze Waaierstaart). Tuis (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae, Toei) were
common, including in the garden of Stuart and Allison.