OK, so I'm a little behind in the blogging updates! Bear with me...
I spent the entirety of May in New Zealand, somewhere I've always wanted to visit. Luckily for me, I failed to clear up on the endemic birds so darnit I'll just have to go back there someday :)
New Zealand isn't especially relevent to this PSL site so I won't go into massive detail, I'll just give a brief overview. For me it was primarily a birding trip, my wife had different priorities so compromises were very definitely made. Highlights include a pelagic trip out from Kaikoura where we saw 7 species of albatross (and a further 10 species of tubenoses!!), a night trip into deep woodland radio tracking (and seeing) a pair of Okarito Kiwi, pre-dawn mountain trail exploits where we eventually tracked down 3 Kokako just above our heads. These were very much the real deal as opposed to many Kokako populations which are reintroductions/translocations from other reintroductions. Hence much more satisfying! Yellow-eyed Penguins, Yellowheads, Wrybills, a single Fairy Tern (of the critically rare NZ subspecies), Westland Petrels, Black Stilt, Tui, Weka, having a young Kea rip the car door's rubber seal, Kaka, Rock Wren and Rifleman were other selected bird highlights. Cave Weta, the worlds largest Kauri trees, NZ Fur Seals, Gum Emperor Moths, Rainbow Skink, Monarch butterflies, NZ Blue butterfly, NZ Red Admiral and Brush-tailed Possums were selected non-bird highlights. Oh yeah, throwing myself out of a small aeroplane at 16,500ft was also pretty damn cool! Nearly 80seconds of freefall before the spoilsport strapped to my back pulled the chute. You can see me grinning throughout the entire video at http://youtu.be/NZWd0QxJ238 and can see the birdlist on the mighty BUBO Listing at http://www.bubo.org/Listing/view-list.html?list_id=19412
Some big noisy gull thingies, a few smaller (maybe juv?) very noisy gull thingies and some pigeon type thingies. All very humdrum....I've never been so bored :D