Monday, May 17, 2010

Kapiti Island Birds - Ascending the Mountain

 New Zealand Pigeon or kererū NZ 022The predators on Kapiti Island, offshore Paraparaumu, on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand, have been eradicated. There are two places where there are trails for the public (limited to a maximum of 50 per day, on the south and 18 in the north, provided you can convince the ferryman to take you there). I went there was an elderly but enthusiastic Kiwi couple of birders, a south Australian family (parents were visiting the daughter who took a job in Wellington), a young American couple from Minnesota, 5 local twenty-somethings, a father with young daughter, and a few other people I didn't meet. (In the tree on the left we have a New Zealand Pigeon or kererū).

NZ 026New Zealand KakaThere are two trails up the mid-section of the island I visted: the steep Trig and the gentle Wilkinson. We were advised not to attempt to descend the Trig. So, like most, I tried to ascend the Trig and descend the Wilkinson, for a little variety. The summit is 521 m, with spectacular views. Along the track there are many many birds - on the ground, in the trees, in the canopy and occasionally on the hikers or attempting to steal their lunches. The hike takes about three hours. (I believe that's a kaka on the right.)

NZ 037NZ 040I shot a short video of the weka. It's dark in the forest, so the quality isn't that great, but it's mainly for the soundtrack of the hundreds of birds! I'll post it when I find a better internet connection.

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This is a New Zealand robin, or toutouwai
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This is a weka by the feeding station. The forest was filled with birdsong.

This guy, with the white tuft under his chin is a tui.

stitch birds
The hihi, or stitchbirds, are hard to photograph, because they are fast. These ones are feeding.

NZ robin
Toutouwai, female.

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