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Page updated: 30 November 2015

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Trip Reports for a selection of trips are shown below.

NOVEMBER 2015
It has been hard to keep up with all the adminstration and new compliance work that we have had to work through and so our trip reports have not been kept upto date for the website. Key highlights are noted below:

Pelagic Birding: we were thrilled to see orca (killer whales) on a recent pelagic trip and 7 Fiordland crested penguin near a nesting area.

Ulva Island: Alot of breeding underway, despite the constant knockback with poor spring weather. Yellowheads have been in good form and we have had some delightful views of nest-building activity. Rifleman have been keeping a low profile, but we have had some wonderful views and recently a male and female checking out insects on the beach. Saddlebacks continue to thrill, nice sightings of kaka (including mating activity) and red and yellow-crowned parakeet. Brown creeper flocks have broken down for breeding, but we have enjoyed regular views. Severla species of orchids are in bloom.

FEBRUARY 2015

2/2/15: Ulva Island - Humid, warm, calm. Highlight - kiwi (male) seen for 10 minutes, flock of yellowheads with young mixed with yellow-crowned and red-crowned parakeet. Weka with chicks, kaka, rifleman high up, saddleback, robin, grey warbler, tomtit, fantail, bellbird, tui, little blue penguin, little black shag, brown creeper, white-fronted tern, red-billed gulls.

JANUARY 2015

27/1/15: Ulva Island - Cool, calm, overcast day. Lot of evidence of birds in moult especially robins seen. Good views of saddleback, adult and juvenile, robin, kaka, wood pigeon, yellowhead, kiwi, bellbird, tui, fantail, tomtit, brown creeper, blue penguin, variable oystercatchers with young, weka with newly hatched chicks, red crowned parakeet. Also seen were rifleman, yellow-crowned parakeet, kingfisher, pied shag, little black shag white-throated phase, grey warbler, red billed and black backed gulls.

24/1/15: Ulva Island - hot, sunny day. Birds have started moulting. Great views of saddleback, rifleman, yellowhead, robin, red-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, brown creeper, fantail, tomtit, variable oystercatchers with chicks, weka. Kaka hard to see - moulting.

16/1/15: Ulva Island - hot day, strong winds during the day. Superb views of rifleman, saddleback, robin, kaka, brown creeper, yellowhead, red-crowned parakeet, variable oystercatchers with chicks, weka, grey warbler, tomtit, fantail, tui, bellbird, wood pigeon.

12 to 13/1/15: Kiwi, Dunes & Beach (customised tour) - fabulous sighting of kiwi in the daytime with some great photo's taken by client, along with fernbirds, tomtits, fantail, banded dotterel, bellbird, tui, variable oystercatchers, brown creeper and more.

5/1/15: Ulva Island - Sunny day, with westerly winds. Highlights included a fantail nesting near the track and rifleman in and out of its next site. Lovely views of red-crowned parakeet and yellowhead (mohua), saddleback, robin, kaka, weka, tomtit, variable oystercatcher, yellow-crowned parakeet, tui, bellbird. Brown creepers heard, and seen flying high.

1/1/15: Ulva Island - Sunny and windy. All key species seen - saddleback, yellowhead, rifleman, robin, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, brown creeper, variable oystercatchers, kaka, including breathtaking views of wood pigeons looking very regal. Also white-capped mollymawks in the Inlet.

DECEMBER 2014

A busy month with a variety of trips, including:

Ulva Island, Paterson Inlet Wildlife Cruise, Customised Penguin Viewing.

Highlights were the Fiordland crested penguins observed at close quarters for half an hour, yellow-eyed and blue penguins bathing. Marine mammals - dolphins and seals.

NOVEMBER 2014 (This has been mainly a wet, windy and cool month)

27/11/14: Ulva Island - a good start to the morning then a fairly quite time. Stormy the day before and still windy, but mainly dry. Good sightings of saddleback (adult and juvenile), yellowhead, robin and fledgelings, weka, brown creepers, wood pigeon, kaka, fantail, tomtit, variable oystercatcher, bellbird, tui, red-crowned parakeet, white-fronted tern.

21/11/14: Ulva Island a dry morning followed by rain all afternoon. Some lovely sightings of yellowheads, yellow-crowned parakeet and weka with chick, also: saddleback, red-crowned parakeet, kaka, wood pigeon, brown creeper, grey warbler, fantail, tomtit, rifleman, bellbird, tui, robin, pied shag, spotted shag, white fronted tern, variable oystercatcher, blue penguins in the water and of course the morepork!

20/11/14: Ulva Island - mainly rain, but an eventful morning. Kiwi seen for about 25 minutes within a few metres, also delightful view of mixed feeding flock of yellowhead, brown creeper, yellow and red-crowned parakeet and saddleback. Also seen: robin, rifleman, kaka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, variable oystercatcher, Stewart Island shag, white-fronted tern.

17/11/14: Ulva Island. A calm, settled morning. Delighted by a kiwi for a bout 30 minutes that had decided to sneak up on us and walk past the group, then feeding close by. Also seen: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, brown creeper, variable oystercatcher.

We have had trips duing May, June, July and August, October and some great sighting of birds especially parakeets, yellowheads and saddleback. On a recent trip in August, we saw a saddleback picking up nest building material. Birds are increasing their calls ready for the mating season. The birdsong has been exquisite in recent weeks.

APRIL 2014
4/4/14: Ulva Island. An overcast day, some rain. Saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, brown creeper, red-billed and black backed gulls, spotted shag, Stewart Island shag, blue penguin, white fronted tern, white capped mollymawk. Kaka and parakeets difficult. New Zealand fur seal swimming close to shore.

MARCH 2014
Weather mostly settled, warmer to hotter then typical for this month.
Birds still in the throes of moulting. At times a parakeets, brown creeper and yellowheads stayed up in the canopy. Easter orchids in many places.

25/3/14: Ulva Island. Fine, cool, some hailstone! Highlight were the two morepork seen together roosting in the canopy. Saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, red and black-billed gulls, pied shag, Stewart Island shag, blue penguin, variable oystercatcher.

21/3/14: Ulva Island. Sunny and calm. Juvenile saddleback only, robin, rifleman, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, morepork (owl), red billed and black backed gulls, blue penguin, variable oystercatcher. Parakeets high in the canopy and too flighty for good sightings.

13/3/14: Ulva Isalnd. A fine day with saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, black backed gull, Stewart Island shag, blue penguin, variable oystercatcher, white-fronted tern.

8/3/14: Ulva Island. An overcast day with some rain and drizzle. Most key birds seen, including: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, red billed and black backed gulls, spotted shag, pied shag, Stewart Island shag, blue penguin, white faced heron, white fronted tern, white-capped mollymawk.

3/3/14: Ulva Island. A cool day. Saddleback, robin, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, grey warbler, brown creeper, blue penguin, variable oystercatcher. Yellowhead (mohua) heard.

FEBRUARY 2014
Signs of moulting in birds seen and views of fledglings and juvenile birds.

22/2/14: Ulva Island. Overcast, with some snatches of sun in the morning. Windy 30+ knots. Fantastic morning highlight were the two kiwi seen, first one then another to check the first one out - viewed within 1 metre for about 10 minutes. Delightful experience for all the clients. Also nice views of saddleback, yellowhead, rifleman, robin, red-crowned parakeet, brown creeper, grey warbler, bellbird. Red-crowned parakeet flying out of a nest hole near the track. Kaka, wood pigeon.

19/2/14: Ulva Island. Overcast, still day. Difficult birding. Highlight was a kiwi seen at about 12 noon for about 5 minutes - great viewing. Also seen, saddleback, robin, kaka, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, fantail, brown creeper. Heard, rifleman, grey warbler, tomtit.

18/2/14: Pelagic Birding - Southern royal albatross, salvins, white-capped and Bullers mollymawk, skua, giant petrel, sooty shearwater, fairy prion, cooks petrel, cape pigeon, Stewart Island shag, pied shag, spotted shag, yellow-eyed penguin, blue penguin, white-fronted tern, black-fronted tern.

17/2/14 - Ulva Island. A difficult morning, poor light and persistent rain. Highlight was the yellow-eyed penguin which sneaked out of the water and stood on the beach and we watched for 15 minutes and was still present a few hours later. Sea lion hauled out of the water near the jetty on our arrival. Also seen - saddleback, robin, yellowhead, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, bellbird, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, red billed and black backed gull, spotted shag, little shag, blue penguin variable oystercatcher, white fronted tern.

11/2/14: Overcast morning, fine afternoon - poor birding in morning, but better in afternoon. Highlight, kiwi seen at about 11.45 am for about 10 minutes along track and foraging off track. Saddleback, robin, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, bellbird, tomtit, fantail brown creeper, red billed and black back gulls, spotted shag, Stewart Island shag, variable oystercatcher. Heard yellowhead, tui, grey warbler.

7/2/14: Sunny, calm, becoming very hot by midday. Saddleback - family of 5 seen together, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui heard, bellibrd, fantail, brown creeper, red and black billed gulls, spotted shag, blue penguin, variable oystercatcher, white fronted tern.

JANUARY 2014
Nice views of fledgling birds during the month.

31/1/14: Sunny day: Yellow-eyed penguin, saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, brown creeper, morepork, variable oystercatcher, red-billed and black-billed gulls.

29/1/14: Sunny, from settled to increasing breeze: Fledgling and adult morepork, saddleback, robin, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, red-billed gull, spottled shag, little shag, variable oystercatcher, white-fronted tern, white-capped mollymawk, flock of sooty shearwater flying around mouth of Inlet.

19/1/14: Windy and dry: Highlight 2 kiwi seen approx. 10.30 am. Walked upto us and around us and stayed around foraging for a while. Also seen: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, red-billed and black-billed gulls, spotted shag, pied shag, little shag, Stewart Island shag, variable oystercatcher, white fronted tern, white-capped mollymawk.

13/1/14: Strong winds, some rain: Saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, red-billed gull, spotted shag, little shag, variable oystercatcher, white fronted tern, white capped mollymawk.

DECEMBER 2013

24/12/13: Rain all morning without a stop. However, terrific sighting of a kiwi at around 12.00 noon, again within a metre, seen for 10-15 minutes - we had to walk away to get the boat. Red-crowned parakeet, saddleback adult and juvenile, rifleman, robin, weka, kaka, brown creeper, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, red-billed and black-back gull, variable oystercatcher, white-fronted tern, pied shag.

21/12/13: Overcast with some wind. A rewarding afternoon. Kiwi seen for 20 minutes within a metre of track foraging at mid-afternoon - we left the kiwi to forage. Also great views of saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka with chicks, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, brown creeper, blue penguin, white-capped mollymawk.

16/13/13: Warm becoming cool. Some budding young birders (youngest 8 years). Nice variety of birds seen including: saddleback, robin, rifleman, kaka, red and yellowcrowned parakeet, weka with chicks, tui, bellbird, grey warbler, brown creeper, variable oystercatchers with chicks.

15/12/13: Sunny, calm day. All key species seen including: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, brown creeper, pied shag, blue penguin, variable oystercatcher. Several orchids in flower.

13/12/13: Overcast day become sunny and hot/warm. Great to hear and see fledging birds including robin, bellbird, brown creeper and oystercatcher. Other birds seen included: saddleback (adult and juveniles), adult robin, male and female bellbird, tui, lovely views of yellowhead, rifleman male and female, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, wood pigeon, kaka, pied shag, little blue penguin, variable oystercatcher, white fronted tern.

4/12/13: A sunny birding day. Variety of birds including: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet at nest sites, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, grey warbler, brown creeper, little shag, blue penguin, yellow-eyed penguin, variable oystercatcher, white-fronted tern.

NOVEMBER
Nesting in progress. Weka chicks and robin fledling seen. Shining cuckcoo heard.
28/11/13: A sunny day with lots of birds and orchids too. Saddleback, robin, yellowhead, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, brown creeper, spotted shag, pied shag, little black shag (white throated phase), blue penguin, white fronted tern, variable oystercatchers.

26/11/13: Great views of yellow-crowned parakeet and yellowheads, saddlback, robin, kaka, weka with chicks, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, grey warbler, brown creeper, blue penguin and oystercatchers.

20/11/13: A hot and sunny day. All key birds seen including saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, fantail, brown creeper, blue penguin, variable oystercatcher, white-capped mollymawk, little shag, blue penguin.

13/11/13: A sunny day with easterly winds. Yellowhead seen high up, saddleback, robin, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, weka, tui, bellbird, tomtit, brown creeper, spotted shag, variable oystercatcher.

OCTOBER
Patchy birding and many days of rough weather.
20/10/13: From calm to rough weather. Patchy birding, with saddleback, robin, yellowhead, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, bellbird, brown creeper, morepork, variable oystercatcher. Heard rifleman, fantail, grey warbler, tui.

17/10/13: Fine, becoming sunny and hot. Saddleback, robin, yellowhead, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown reeper, morepork, variable oystercatcher, little shag.

11/10/13: Seabreeze and sun. Areas with little bird activity and patch sightings. Saddlebacks, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, variable oystercatcher, Stewart Island shag, spotted shag, blue penguin.

AUGUST
29/8/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Saddleback, robin, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, fleeting view of kingfisher, white fronted tern. Highlight: wood pigeon chick in its nest near the track and of course the lovely views of the rifleman.

24/8/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Saddleback, robin, yellowhead, kaka, red-crowned and yellow-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, bellbird, tomtit, grey warbler, brown creeper, morepork, little shap, blue penguin (in the water). Highlight was the great views of yellowcrowned parakeet.

MARCH
30/3/13 - ULVA ISLAND - We ran a morning and afternoon tour. In the morning, we had three quiet young children and enjoyed a kiwi 1 mtr away, busy foraging for 10 minutes at about 9.40 am. A great delight for all of us. Other birds seen included: yellowhead, robin, rifleman, kaka, bellbid, tui, red-crowned parakeet, tomtit, brown creeper, morepork, spotted shag, little black shag.

In the afternoon, we saw: saddleback, robin, rifleman, kaka (lovely adult and juvenile interactions), red-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, bellbird, tui, tomtit, grey warbler, brown creeper, morepork.

26/3/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Our group tour enjoyed a variety of birds including: robin, rifleman, yellowhead, kakak, red-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, grey warbler, brown creeper, morepork, variable oystercatcher, weka.

23/3/13 - ULVA ISLAND - A warm, calm day. Birds seen included: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, bellbird, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, morepork, variable oystercatcher, spotted shag, blue penguin.

11/3/13 - ULVA ISLAND - A warm, settled day. Birds seen included: saddleback, robin, rifleman, yellowhead, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, grey warbler, brown creeper, morepork, variable oystercatcher, spotted shag, pied shag, blue penguin, white capped mollymawk, Buller's mollymawk, gulls and white-fronted tern.

9-10/3/13 - KIWI JOURNEY - Difficult conditions, very dry for a month and a half and still. Kiwi were very skittish. One seen foraging, then crossing path before disappearing. Two other brief sightings. Other birds seen included: robin, tui, bellbird, tomtit, grey warbler, brown creeper, fantail, red-crowned parakeet, morepork, NZ pipit, fernbird, Australasian harrier, blue penguin, black swans. Kaka were heard in the Freshwater valley.

FEBRUARY
26/2/13 - PELAGIC (INSHORE) - White capped mollymawks, Buller's mollymawk, northern giant petrel, sooty shearwater, white fronted tern, yellow-eyed penguin (moulting), blue penguin, spotted shag, Stewart Island shag, red billed and black billed gulls.

25/2/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Calm, muggy day. The first half busy and the second half quietening down considerably. Birds seen: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, weka, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, morepork, variable oystercatcher, Stewart Island shag, spotted shag, pied shag, little shag, blue penguin, gulls (red and black back), white fronted tern, white-capped mollymawk.

18/2/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Another settled, sunny day. Birds were patchy, but we saw: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tuie, bellbird, tomtit, brown creeper, morepork variable oystercatcher, spotted shag, pied shag, white fronted tern, white capped mollymawk.

11/2/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Overcast with odd bits of rain, but not much. Birds seen included saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, brown creeper, moreport, variable oystercatcher, spotted shag, little shag pied phase, blue penguin, guls and white fronted tern.

7/2/13 - ECO WATCH - EVENING GUIDED WALK - The highlight was a kiwis seen for about 20 minutes in good natural light, then red torchlight that came and touched the guides feet. Other birds included: red-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, fantail, white-faced heron, spur winged plover.

5/2/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Overcast and cool. We saw saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, weka family, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, brown creeper, morepork, spotted shag, gulls and white-fronted tern.

1/2/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Sunny, hot, calm. Birds seen included: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, yellow-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, grey warbler, brown creeper, variable oystercatcher.

JANUARY
27/1/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Lovely views of mohua, grey warbler, fantail, tomit, red-crowned parakeet, rifleman, robin, kaka, weka with chicks, healthy looking wood pigeon, spotted shag, litte shag, little blue penguin, black-backed gull, red-billed gull, morepork asleep on his roost, brown creeper. Saddlebacks were heard but not seen.

25/1/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Saddleback, robin, rifleman, kaka (a number of times), red-crowned and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, grey warbler, brown creeper, variable oystercatcher, Stewart Island shag, spotted shag, pied shag, blue penguin, red-billed gull, white fronted tern.

23/1/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Highlight was the male kiwi seen at about 9.30 am. Also, saddleback, robin, mohua, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, weka, pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, spotted shag, pied shag, blue penguin, black-back gull, white fronted tern.

21/1/13 - ULVA ISLAND - Comical views of kaka mating, with male falling off several times. Good views of other birds including: saddleback, robin, mohua, rifleman, red-crowned parakeet, weka, tui, bellbird, tomtit, brown creeper, white capped mollymawk.

8-9/1/13 - KIWI JOURNEY - Splendid view for approx. 45 minutes of a adult male kiwi, seen in broad daylight along the track. Foraging happily on the track. Also: robins, tui, bellbird, brown creeper, NZ pipit, fernbird, starling, red-crowned parakeet.

10/1/13 - ULVA ISLAND - A day with several views of key species including: saddleback, robin, mohua, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, yellow-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, morepork, variable oystercatcher, spotted shag, pied shag, blue penguin.

DECEMBER
The busy season is upon us and it has been hard finding time to keep the trip reports upto date. However, a few more update are shown below:
27/12/12 - ULVA ISLAND - a fun afternoon birds included: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, brown creeper, variable oystercatcher.

24/12/12 - ULVA ISLAND - saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, brown creeper, variable oystercatcher, spotted shag, blue penguin, white-fronted tern.

19/12/12 - ULVA ISLAND - saddleback, robin, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, variably oystercatcher, white-capped mollymawk.

15/12/12 - ULVA ISLAND - saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka with chicks, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, variable oyster catcher, spotted shag.

13-14/12/12 - KIWI JOURNEY - Along with a kiwi during the morning in good light, we saw a variety of birds including great sightings of red-crowned parakeet, robin, NZ pipit, tui, bellbird, fernbird.

6/12/12 - ULVA ISLAND - a full day with some great bird photo opportunities with rifleman coming to and from their nesting areas, weka and weka chicks, kaka foraging and the ever friendly robins. We also so: brown creepers, yellowheads, yellow-crowned and red-crowned parakeet, blue penguin, pied shag, spotted shag, variable oystercatchers, grey warblers, tomtit, bellbird, tui.

1/12/12 - ULVA ISLAND - as it happended, not a day to be on Ulva Island, the wind predictions did not materialise, instead, it rained non-stop. We worked hard, and were rewarded with excellent views of mohua (yellowhead), red-crowned parakeet, weka, robin, saddleback, tomtit, tui, bellbird, variable oystercatchers, spotted shag.

NOVEMBER
30/11/12 - ULVA ISLAND - Birding on has generally been poor on Ulva Island, due to spring weather, drop in bird numbers from aerial poisoning to remove rates last year and breeding well underway with the birds. However, we managed to find our key birds including: saddleback, robin, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, tui, bellbird, tomtit, grey warbler with fledglings, brown creeper with flegdlings, variable oyster catcher, Stewart Island shag, blue penguin.

23/11/12 - STEWART ISLAND - not a guided trip, but worth the mention. A lovely full view of a shining cuckcoo singing outside our office in the pittosporum tree at 7.00 in the morning. After calling, flew away and didn't see it for the rest of the morning.

23/11/12 - ULVA ISLAND - A delightful trip with highlights being two morepork quietly sitting in a tree close to the track, two blue penguins swimming onto the shore and two rifleman within a metre of us feeding along the trunk of a tree. Other birds seen included red-crowned parakeet, saddleback, tomit, bellbird, tui, kaka, wood pigeon. Mohua a bit elusive today...

12-13/11/12 - KIWI JOURNEY - A surising sighting of a female kiwi foraging with a male kiwi in good light. The next day a female kiwi seen in full light. Other birds included: brown creeper, Stewart Island robin, NZ pipit, fernbird, tomtit, bellbird, red-crowned parakeet, variable oystercatchers, pied shag, skylark, chaffinch, redpoll, black swan, Australasian harrier,

11/11/12 - ULVA ISLAND - Superb view so two yellow-crowned parakeets with a red-crowned parakeet, saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, weka, NZ wood pigeon, bellbird, tomtit, brown creeper, variable oystercatcher, spotted shag, blue penguin.

6/11/12 - ULVA ISLAND - Rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, robin, tui, bellbird, tomtit, brown creeper, blue penguin, white-fronted tern. Saddleback, weka, yellowhead and grey warbler heard.

OCTOBER
20/10/12 - ULVA ISLAND - A settled afternoon, cool and damp. Superb views of red-crowned parakeet, yellowhead and an adult saddleback bathing in a creek. A male and female weka also seen (one introduced in April 2012). Other species included brown creeper flocks, wood pigeon, bellbird, tui, fantail and the ever friendly robins.

13 to 14/10/12 - KIWI JOURNEY - Terrific view of female kiwi, foraging and feeding in broad daylight, viewed for over 30 minutes. Another female kiwi seen in good evening light. Several fernbirds and robins, bellbird, tui and red-crowned parakeet. Skua on Mason Bay beach.

4/10/12 - ULVA ISLAND - Stormy and wet days before and after, but a pleasant and dry afternoon to birdwatch on Ulva Island on the day of our trip. Had great views of all the key birds and about four mixed feeding flocks that provided fantastic views of yellowheads, yellow-crowned parakeets and brown creeper. Weka are still sparse and we saw one banded weka that had been released in April 2012. Nice view of adult and two juvenile saddlebacks in different areas of the Island.

WINTER 2012 (JUNE / JULY / AUGUST) - Compared to previous winters, we felt that the birds were fewer in number as a direct result of the rat invasion of July 2010 and subsequent poison drop in August and September 2011. However, most of the birds species are being seen, but weka and saddleback are in extremely low numbers. A small introduction of 14 weka in April 2012 was aimed at boosting the population.

APRIL
4/4/12 - ULVA ISLAND - Sunny day, with no wind. Birds sighted included: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, red-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, bellbird, tomtit, brown creeper, morepork, blue penguin, white-fronted tern, plus others.

1/4/12 - ULVA ISLAND - A patchy day, but all key birds sighted, including: saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, fantail, grey warbler, bellbird, morepork, pied shag, blue penguin, white fronted terns, variable oystercatcher.

MARCH
21/3/12 - ULVA ISLAND - Despite a hot and settled afternoon, we managed to get good sightings of all our key birds: yellowhead, weka, rifleman, saddleback, brown creeper, robin, blue penguin, red-crowned parakeet, NZ wood pigeon, tui, bellbird. As for several weeks, yellowheads and brown creepers were in flocks of adults and juveniles.

3/3/12 - ULVA ISLAND - A slow morning followed by a busy afternoon of birding. About 7 saddlebacks, weka, large flock of yellowhead, lots of brown creepers, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, robins, kaka, Stewart Island shag, spotted shag, little black shag white throated phase, grey warbler, tomit, bellbirds.

1/3/12 - ULVA ISLAND - A fun morning with a great mixed flock of brown creeper, yellowhead, red and yellow-crowned parakeets. Several kaka, great views of rifleman, many robins and several other species.

FEBRUARY
Moulting Snares erect crested penguin seen in Halfmoon Bay, but since moved by the Department of Conservation. Long tailed cuckoo calling regularly and a family of weka living nearby our office. Morepork seen on many days on our Ulva Island trips. Some birds undergoing moult including kaka. Lots of wood pigeon in Oban.

23/2/12 - COASTAL HIGHLIGHTS - Our highlight being two Fiordland crested penguin sitting in front of their rock cave.

22/2/12 - ULVA ISLAND - All key species seen including a flock of about 20 yellowheads.

17/2/12 - PELAGIC BIRDING - Several species seen including: royal albatross, white-capped, Salvins and Bullers mollymawks, skua, giant petrel, sooty shearwater, blue and yellow-eyed penguin, giant petrel, Stewart Island shag, pied shag, spotted shag, white and black-fronted terns.

16-18/2/12 - KIWI, DUNES & BEACH - 8 kiwi sighted including daytime birds.

15/2/12 - ULVA ISLAND - All key species seen including fabulous view of yellowhead, saddleback, rifleman, brown creeper, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, kaka, wood pigeon and more. A very nervous solitary weka on one of the beaches.

10/2/12 - ULVA ISLAND - Busy birding day (along with flowering Easter Orchid): Saddleback family (adult and 2 juveniles), plenty of Stewart Island robin, yellowheads (adults and fledlings), stunning views of rifleman, red-crowned and yellow-crowned parakeet, brown creepers with fledglings, tomtit, 2 morepork, wook pigeon, bellbird, blue penguin, Stewart Island shag, pied shag, little black shag, spotted shag, white fronted terns and more...

6-7/2/12 - KIWI JOURNEY - Male kiwi seen at 7.20 in the morning in good light, lots of Stewart Island fernbirds, robins, brown creeper, bellbird, tomtit, New Zealand pipit, black swans, blue penguin, harrier, redpoll, kingfisher and more. Bottlenosed dolphins viewed in Paterson Inlet.

27/1/12 - We have had a busy month and have not had the opportunity to update our trip reports. On most of our trips to Ulva Island, we have seen:
yellowhead, robin, rifleman, saddleback, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, bellbird, tui, brown creeper, kaka, wood pigeon and more. We also so a large female kiwi on the 7/1/12 at 9.22 am in the morning. In recent weeks we have seen many young fledglings of all key species. In Oban Village, long tailed cuckoo have been heard on several occasions.

7-8/1/12 - KIWI JOURNEY - 4 kiwi sighted, other birds included: fernbirds, red-crowned parakeet, NZ pipit, brown creeper, Stewart Island robin.

1/1/12 - ULVA ISLAND - Nice views of yellowhead, red-crowned and yellow-crowned parakeet, robins, brown creeper and rifleman. A frenzy of kaka as seen a few days ago, calling loudly around us. Wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, variable oystercatchers with chicks. White-capped mollymawks in the Inlet and little blue penguin.

31/12/11 - ULVA ISLAND - a weka at Boulder Beach, several saddleback sightings (mainly of birds seen over the past two months), rifleman, yellowhead, kaka, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, fantail, grey warbler, brown creeper, blue penguin, variable oystercatchers with chicks.

10 to 11/12/11 - KIWI JOURNEY - three kiwi sighted with some excellent views, one was viewed for 20 minutes.

8/12/11 - ULVA ISLAND - Variety of birds seen with some excellent views inlcuding: saddleback, robin, rifleman, red and yellow-crowned parakeet, weka, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, brown creeper, kaka.

1/12/11 - PELAGIC BIRDING - The weather was a bit too settled for the albatrosses, however,there were close views of shy mollymawks, giant northern petrel, superb views of Fiordland crested penguin at sea and on land, yellow-eyed and blue penguins also seen. Nice views of Stewart Island Shags (pied and bronze phases). New Zealand fur seals adults and pups put on a great, show due to the hot day.

28/11/11 - ULVA ISLAND - Amongst a variety of birds seen our highlight were the saddlebacks which we watch for almost 20 minutes - adults, juvenile and courtship behaviour.

27/11/11 - ULVA ISLAND - Saddleback, robin, yellowhead, rifleman, kaka, red-crowned parakeet, wood pigeon, tui, bellbird, tomtit, brown creeper and a sleepy morepork, brown creeper, variable oystercatcher. Travelling to / from Ulva Island, we also saw blue penguin and shy mollymawks. Weka were heard at Boulder Beach, but not seen.

23/11/11- ULVA ISLAND - The highlight of our trip was a female kiwi, which we were lucky to watch for 20 minutes (3 mtrs away) at mid-morning. Four saddleback were sighted on two occasions demontrating courtship behaviour. Some great views of red-crowned parakeets, brown creeper, kaka, robin. Several little blue penguins close up, pied shag and little shag, shy mollymawks. A weka was also heard, including yellowhead.

16/11/11 - ULVA ISLAND - yellowhead (mohua), robins, red-crowned parakeets, saddleback, kaka, brown creeper, wood pigeon, tomtit, grey warbler, tui, bellbird, blue penguin (in the water), pied shag and other species of birds seen.

9 to 10/11/11 - KIWI JOURNEY - Female kiwi seen early morning feeding in out in the open during daylight. Fernbirds were quiet. Red-crowned parakeets, brown creeper, NZ pipit, Stewart Island robin were amongst several birds seen.

30/10/11 - ULVA ISLAND - terrific views of all key species including yellowhead (mohua), red and yellow-crowned parakeet, saddleback, rifleman, kaka, brown creeper, robin, wood pigeon, tomtits, weka. A different trip from the day before. There is a very noticeable overall drop in populations of different species especially: saddleback, robin, weka, fantail etc.

26 to 27/10/11 - KIWI JOURNEY - beautiful male kiwi seen for half an hour in the afternoon, approached us within a metre whilst we stood quietly watching. Red-crowned parakeets, fernbirds, brown creepers, Stewart Island robin, NZ pipit were amongst several other birds seen.

19/10/11: ULVA ISLAND - Athough birds were singing throughout the forest, sightings were difficult for the first half of the tour, but picked up half way through. Several rifleman were seen, along with kaka, robin, red and yellow-crowned parakeet with some magnificent views of native wood pigeon. Majority of the birds are now nesting. A cold snap in the week would would have been felt by the birds.

8/10/11: ULVA ISLAND - Some superb sightings of yellowhead, red-crowned parakeet, saddleback, rifleman and kaka. Good sightings of all the other key birds including yellow-crowned parakeet. A nice morepork (owl) tucked up in a tree, fast asleep was a delight to see. Sadly no weka seen or heard.

16/9/11: ULVA ISLAND - All the key species were sighted including saddleback, yellowhead, rifleman, robin, red and yellow-crowned parakeet. Dead weka was seen on Sydney Cove (this had been seen a few days previously). Sections of the forest were quiet.

11/9/11: ULVA ISLAND - All the key species were sighted including saddleback, yellowhead, rifleman, robin, red and yellow-crowned parakeet. Weka were low in numbers. Parts of the forest were quiet.

General

Shining cuckcoo have arrived in Stewart Island, the first one was heard by us on the 13/10/11. Sooty shearwaters have arrived in their hundreds from the northern hemisphere.

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