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Field Guides Tour Report
New Zealand 2015
Nov 8, 2015 to Nov 26, 2015
Dan Lane & Mark Ayer

A South Island Saddleback with a pollen dusting as it feeds on native flax (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

This was a trip through a great country: one that has wonderful scenery, a sensible culture, and many natural wonders to behold. We were lucky to see it from bottom to top, and the weather we had was ridiculously mild! From our start at Invercargill, we visited the breathtaking Fiordland National Park, spending extra time to see the sneaky South Island (or Rock) Wren, which we managed on our second visit. From there, we crossed to Stewart Island, the “third island” of the main islands, and had two opportunities to see kiwis on the beach. On the first, despite missing kiwi (only the 4th time in recent memory, according to Captain Phillip!), we still had an amazing view of the night sky! The second visit paid off with a gawky bird trundling around the edge of the beach. Whew! We also had our first of many boat trips on the rather tame waters around Stewart Island where we saw mollymawks, as smaller albatrosses are called, among other seabirds. Albatrosses were a popular bunch of birds on the tour, and we ended up seeing five or six (depending on how you cut the Royal Albatross up): Southern and Northern Royal, Wandering, Salvin’s, White-capped, and Black-browed. Ever so graceful, they really are impressive! But other groups of birds also endeared themselves to us--the penguins were high on this list! Kris was enamored by all, and the Yellow-eyed Penguin, or Hoiho, which has experienced an alarming population decline, was another particular favorite.

Back on the South Island, we stopped to see the critically endangered Black Stilt, and saw it well! The curious Wrybill also showed well on the braided rivers of the east side island. A stop at Lake Wanaka gave us nearly eye-to-eye views of the fancy Great Crested Grebes as they nested, which we much appreciated. Passing to the wetter Westland, we had the opportunity to spend a few hours with Ian, our kiwi whisperer, who produced a memorable experience with our sighting of Okarito Kiwi (or Rowi). From there, we crossed the “continental divide” at Arthur’s Pass and stayed in a lovely lodge there where we were able to listen to yet another Kiwi (Great Spotted), and experience the antics of Keas as we ate lunch. Moving northeast to Kaikoura, where some of the easiest pelagic trips in the world are available, we had a lovely time seeing yet more albatrosses, giant-petrels, Cape Petrels, and more! We even got a glimpse of our first Australasian Gannet, although we saw more shortly thereafter at Marlborough Sound.

Crossing to the North Island on the ferry, we headed to the majestic Tongariro National Park, with its eye-catching centerpiece, Ruapehu Volcano. Mark regaled us with stories of his youth there, and we enjoyed the view! On to Lake Taupo, and then to Pureora Forest, where we saw a lovely example of North Island native forest that still rang with the songs of native birds: from the shriek of Long-tailed Cuckoo and the weird musical sounds of Kokako, to the loud announcements of the omnipresent Tui. In addition, we also had our final view of a New Zealand Falcon, one of the more difficult endemics of this trip. During a stop at Miranda, we were able to enjoy the shorebird spectacle there, particularly when thousands of Alaskan Bar-tailed Godwits flushed at the passing of some Parasitic Jaegers and flew over us! Finally, we spent a lovely day on Tiritiri Matangi Island, an “ark” that is effectively saving many of the rarer endemic birds from the exotic predators on the main islands. With any luck, some day some of these can be returned to native forests on the main islands after the predators are successfully controlled. On Tiritiri, we enjoyed the odd Stitchbird, Brown Teal, and got to see the peculiar Kokako well. Paul and Kris had luck with a Takahe, too!

For those who stayed on for the Hauraki extension, we had a lovely day on the water, seeing many tubenoses, cetaceans, and even some noteworthy fish! The star was probably the New Zealand Storm-Petrel, but there were many other sightings that competed: the Bryde’s Whale that surfaced not far away, the two shark species we saw just beside the boat (one even turned its attention from the chum to the shearwaters!), the Mola-mola (or Ocean Sunfish) that lazed about off to port, the raft of feeding frenzy Fluttering Shearwaters and Fairy Prions that amazed us, and the gulls that followed that school of Travelli as they raked through krill!

All in all, it was great fun sharing these memories with you. I hope we’ll have another opportunity to do it again! Until then, keep them binoculars close!

Good birding!


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Apterygidae (Kiwis)
SOUTHERN BROWN KIWI (STEWART ISLAND) (Apteryx australis lawryi) – It took two visits to the beach to get looks at this kiwi (after Captain Phillip told us that he'd only ever missed it 3 times! We had the honor of being there the 4th time!). But the second night was a success. [E]

That's Mount Cook, or Aoraki, New Zealand's highest peak. These braided rivers are the breeding home of some very endangered shorebirds: Wrybill and Black Stilts, for starters! (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

OKARITO BROWN KIWI (Apteryx rowi) – Ian did us proud and we had a smashing experience with this very local and rare kiwi. [E]
GREAT SPOTTED KIWI (Apteryx haastii) – Heard only, but exciting nonetheless, at Arthur's Pass. [E*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis) – What can one say? Yup. [I]
CAPE BARREN GOOSE (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) – Ken and Mark got on this one before it swam out of sight. [I]
BLACK SWAN (Cygnus atratus) – Yup.
PARADISE SHELDUCK (Tadorna variegata) – A handsome and common endemic throughout the country. [E]
BLUE DUCK (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) – We were lucky to see this rare duck twice: once near Homer Tunnel and again near Tongariro NP.. [E]
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) – Common and interbreeding with the next species. [I]

The elegant New Zealand Dotterel (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (Anas superciliosa) – Lots of hybrids with the previous, but we did see a few with 'pure' plumage features.
AUSTRALIAN SHOVELER (Anas rhynchotis) – Fairly common.
GRAY TEAL (Anas gracilis) – Another fairly common duck on larger bodies of water.
BROWN TEAL (Anas chlorotis) – A rare endemic we caught up with on Tiritiri, and for those who stayed onto the extension, again at Tawharanui. [E]
NEW ZEALAND SCAUP (Aythya novaeseelandiae) – Another rather common endemic. [E]
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CALIFORNIA QUAIL (Callipepla californica) – These little wind-up toys were common around Pureora Forest. [I]
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
BROWN QUAIL (Synoicus ypsilophorus) – We spotted these small quail a few times on Tiritiri and again on the extension at Tawharanui. [I]
RING-NECKED PHEASANT (Phasianus colchicus) – Mostly on the North Island. [I]

Of the two widespread parakeets, Red-crowned is the rarer, but it is easy to see on the offshore island reserves. (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo) – A female with poults near Miranda. [I]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
NEW ZEALAND GREBE (Poliocephalus rufopectus) – Nice views from Lake Taupo. [E]
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus) – Great views of these charismatic grebes at Lake Wanaka.
Spheniscidae (Penguins)
YELLOW-EYED PENGUIN (Megadyptes antipodes) – At least three birds seen well on our day on the water out of Stewart Island. [E]
LITTLE PENGUIN (Eudyptula minor) – The most numerous penguin we saw... we enjoyed several forms: the southern (by Stewart Is and Otago Bay), the Marlborough Sound form, and the North Island form (for those who did the Hauraki pelagic).
FIORDLAND PENGUIN (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) – This endemic penguin showed well on the Milford Sound boat trip in Fiordland (of all places!). [E]
Diomedeidae (Albatrosses)
WHITE-CAPPED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche cauta cauta) – Most numerous around Stewart Is, a few were also at Kaikoura, and one also in Hauraki Gulf.
SALVIN'S ALBATROSS (Thalassarche salvini) – The common mollymawk at Kaikoura. [E]
BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS (BLACK-BROWED) (Thalassarche melanophris melanophris) – An adult showed up for the second pelagic out of Kaikoura.
ROYAL ALBATROSS (SOUTHERN) (Diomedea epomophora epomophora) – A fine adult on the first Kaikoura pelagic allowed for direct comparison with the next (sub)species.
ROYAL ALBATROSS (NORTHERN) (Diomedea epomophora sanfordi) – Often considered a species separate from the last, we enjoyed seeing several near their breeding colony at Otago bay, then another bird showed both days for the Kaikoura pelagic. [E]
WANDERING ALBATROSS (Diomedea exulans) – Several squabbled over food on the Kaikoura pelagic. Most were probably "Gibson's" Wanderings, the most common form in the area.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
NORTHERN GIANT-PETREL (Macronectes halli) – The petrel you hate to love... but you gotta love 'em, right? They're so ugly they're cute!
CAPE PETREL (Daption capense) – These lil' fellers are truly cute!

Weka, photographed by participant Paul Goldschmidt

COOK'S PETREL (Pterodroma cookii) – One bird on the ferry to Stewart Island paled by comparison to the numbers we saw on the Hauraki Gulf extension! [E]
FAIRY PRION (Pachyptila turtur) – One was seen on the second Kaikoura pelagic, but we were awed by thousands on the crossing of the Cook's Strait to the North Island. Thousands more were a fixture on the Hauraki Gulf.
WHITE-CHINNED PETREL (Procellaria aequinoctialis) – A single bird made a showing on the second Kaikoura pelagic.
PARKINSON'S PETREL (Procellaria parkinsoni) – The common dark petrel on the Hauraki Gulf extension. [E]
WESTLAND PETREL (Procellaria westlandica) – The common dark petrel off Kaikoura. [E]
FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER (Ardenna carneipes) – One bird made a showing on the first Kaikoura pelagic, but the species was abundant on the Hauraki Gulf.
BULLER'S SHEARWATER (Ardenna bulleri) – Several seen on the Hauraki Gulf. Formerly called "New Zealand Shearwater" [E]
SOOTY SHEARWATER (Ardenna grisea) – One of the most abundant birds in the world. We saw them on several boat trips.

The striking New Zealand Kaka, photographed by participant Paul Goldschmidt

HUTTON'S SHEARWATER (Puffinus huttoni) – Breeding only around Kaikoura, we saw them at a distance both from the boat and from shore. [E]
FLUTTERING SHEARWATER (Puffinus gavia) – Seen well in Marlborough Sound and again in Hauraki Gulf. [E]
LITTLE SHEARWATER (TASMAN) (Puffinus assimilis assimilis) – A few made a showing on the Hauraki Gulf extension.
Pelecanoididae (Diving-Petrels)
COMMON DIVING-PETREL (Pelecanoides urinatrix) – Common on the Ferry ride to Stewart Island and on the Hauraki Gulf pelagic.
Hydrobatidae (Storm-Petrels)
WHITE-FACED STORM-PETREL (Pelagodroma marina) – This "pogo-sticking bird" was common and entertaining on the Hauraki Gulf.
NEW ZEALAND STORM-PETREL (Fregetta maoriana) – At least two birds were close to the boat on the Hauraki Gulf. [E]
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
AUSTRALASIAN GANNET (Morus serrator) – Seen off the Kaikoura peninsula, on the Marlborough Sound, and again on the Hauraki pelagic.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo) – Locally called "Black Shag", this was present in small numbers throughout.

Our local guide, Mark Ayer, and a local Kea, keeping a close eye on the food... (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

PIED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax varius) – Largely coastal, we saw this species pretty much all along the tour.
NEW ZEALAND KING SHAG (Phalacrocorax carunculatus) – Also called "Rough-faced Shag", this is the species that is restricted to the Marlborough Sound. [E]
STEWART ISLAND SHAG (Phalacrocorax chalconotus) – Common around Stewart Island and up the east coast of the South Island to the Otago Bay. Also called "Bronze Shag". [E]
SPOTTED SHAG (Phalacrocorax punctatus) – Common at many coastal sites. [E]
LITTLE PIED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos) – Common both on fresh and coastal waters.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta) – Locally called "White Heron" and considered a very important animal by the Maori. We saw them first at Okarito and then several more times in the Westland and at Blenheim Sewage ponds.
WHITE-FACED HERON (Egretta novaehollandiae) – The common heron in NZ.
PACIFIC REEF-HERON (Egretta sacra) – After seeing one fly along the coastal highway on our way to Kaikoura, we saw it again on the pelagic the next day.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – A bird flying over the Blenheim sewage ponds was good.
ROYAL SPOONBILL (Platalea regia) – After rapidly colonizing NZ, it's now quite common around the South Island.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
SWAMP HARRIER (Circus approximans) – Occupying the same niche as Buteos on most continents, this is a common raptor in NZ.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WEKA (Gallirallus australis) – A huge, flightless crake that we enjoyed in Fiordland, Ulva Island, and the Marlborough Sound. [E]
BAILLON'S CRAKE (AUSTRALASIAN) (Porzana pusilla affinis) – Heard near the Ohau delta. [*]
SPOTLESS CRAKE (Porzana tabuensis) – Heard at the Brown Teal pond at Tiritiri. [*]

Fairy Prion (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

SOUTH ISLAND TAKAHE (Porphyrio hochstetteri) – Paul and Kris had great views on Tiritiri, and those who continued to the extension enjoyed a pair at Tawharanui Park. [E]
AUSTRALASIAN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio melanotus) – Locally called Pukeko, these were common in pastures at various points.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra) – Many at the Blenheim Sewage ponds.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
PIED STILT (Himantopus leucocephalus) – Common at most estuaries, including in the Mackenzie area.
BLACK STILT (Himantopus novaezelandiae) – A group of 30 were at the shore of Lake Pukaki, and another three 'pure' birds at the Ohau delta area. That's a huge percentage of the world's population! [E]
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
SOUTH ISLAND OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus finschi) – Common in estuaries and pastures throughout the South Island, and even at a few spots on the North Island. [E]
VARIABLE OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus unicolor) – Strictly coastal, we saw black birds over most of the tour, but those who did the extension saw a couple of white-bellied birds at Tawharanui park. [E]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
MASKED LAPWING (BLACK-SHOULDERED) (Vanellus miles novaehollandiae) – Locally called "Spur-winged Plover" and a fairly recent, but successful, colonist from Australia.

Marlborough Sound (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

RED-BREASTED DOTTEREL (Charadrius obscurus) – Usually called "New Zealand Dotterel" this one we saw first at Miranda, and then again on the beach at Tiritiri and again on the extension. [E]
DOUBLE-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius bicinctus) – Common on the South Island. [E]
WRYBILL (Anarhynchus frontalis) – Thanks to Mark for showing us a group on a river bed in the Canterbury Plains. We later saw many at Miranda. [E]
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica) – Wow, what a scene! Thousands of these migrants at Miranda was a sight to behold. Many thanks to the folks at the visitor center there for educating us on their incredible migration from Alaska!
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – At Miranda.
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus) – At Miranda, including a bird with bright breeding plumage!
SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER (Calidris acuminata) – A single first-year bird at Miranda was nice.
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis) – A few stints at Miranda "had to" be this species.
Stercorariidae (Skuas and Jaegers)

A small portion of a flock of Bar-tailed Godwits (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

BROWN SKUA (SUBANTARCTIC) (Stercorarius antarcticus lonnbergi) – Several seen on our day on the water out of Stewart Island.
PARASITIC JAEGER (Stercorarius parasiticus) – One on Marlborough Sound was nice. We had three more chasing the godwits at Miranda.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BLACK-BILLED GULL (Chroicocephalus bulleri) – Although endangered, we enjoyed this species a many sites around the country... mostly away from the coast. [E]
RED-BILLED GULL (Chroicocephalus scopulinus) – The most common coastal gull in NZ. The white eyes are mesmerizing. [E]
KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus) – The only large gull in NZ. Locally called "Southern Black-backed Gull."
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – A cosmopolitan species, the birds in NZ probably don't get to see the Caspian Sea very often.
BLACK-FRONTED TERN (Chlidonias albostriatus) – An attractive tern we enjoyed along braided rivers on the South Island. [E]
WHITE-FRONTED TERN (Sterna striata) – The common small coastal tern.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

Hmmm...can Keas read? (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Yup. [I]
AFRICAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia roseogrisea) – A few around Auckland. [I]
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) – A few around Auckland. [I]
NEW ZEALAND PIGEON (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) – The "big fat pigeons" we saw many places around the country. [E]
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SHINING BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx lucidus) – After hearing them at a few sites, we saw one at Pureora Forest.
LONG-TAILED KOEL (Eudynamys taitensis) – A nice show involved a couple of birds at Pureora. [E]
Strigidae (Owls)
SOUTHERN BOOBOOK (MOREPORK) (Ninox novaeseelandiae novaeseelandiae) – Heard on our kiwi outings, but one or two of us caught a split second view of one flushing from a day roost while at our Arthur's Pass lodge.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
SACRED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus sanctus) – Mostly seen on the North Island.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
NEW ZEALAND FALCON (Falco novaeseelandiae) – We saw this rare raptor in Fiordland, at Lake Ohau, at Whakapapa, and finally at Pureora. [E]
Strigopidae (New Zealand Parrots)
KEA (Nestor notabilis) – Endangered but charismatic and approachable. Lunch at Arthur's Pass was largely their antics. [E]
NEW ZEALAND KAKA (Nestor meridionalis) – After a tame bunch at Stewart, most were flying overhead until we got to Pureora. [E]
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
RED-CROWNED PARAKEET (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae) – Seen well at Ulva and Tiritiri islands.
YELLOW-CROWNED PARAKEET (Cyanoramphus auriceps) – Seen best at Pureora. [E]
MALHERBE'S PARAKEET (Cyanoramphus malherbi) – Also called "Orange-fronted Parakeet" we saw a pair on an island in Marlborough Sound. [E]
EASTERN ROSELLA (Platycercus eximius) – An Australian introduction we saw at a few sites, primarily on the North Island. [I]
Acanthisittidae (New Zealand Wrens)
RIFLEMAN (Acanthisitta chloris) – One of the real favorites of the tour, these little nuthatch-like birds don't fail to please. [E]
SOUTH ISLAND WREN (Xenicus gilviventris) – A couple of short views of this sneaky bird on our second visit to Homer Tunnel was worth it! [E]
Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters)
TUI (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) – Big, attention-grabbing endemic honeyeaters that we enjoyed throughout the country. [E]
NEW ZEALAND BELLBIRD (Anthornis melanura) – The other honeyeater in NZ, and common, if a bit harder to see. [E]
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)

The New Zealand Storm-Petrel was thought to be extinct until rediscovered a little over a decade ago. Now, the breeding areas are known and conservation measures are underway to make sure the species will increase in numbers. We had fine views on the extension pelagic. (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

GRAY GERYGONE (Gerygone igata) – Often heard, but seldom seen. [E]
Mohouidae (Whiteheads)
WHITEHEAD (Mohoua albicilla) – Replaces the next species on the North Island, where it seems to be doing much better. [E]
YELLOWHEAD (Mohoua ochrocephala) – A South Island endemic that has experienced a serious population crash in the past two decades. We saw them best at Ulva Island, but a few at Haast's Pass were nice. [E]
PIPIPI (Mohoua novaeseelandiae) – Also called "Brown Creeper" locally, we saw this at several places around the South Island. [E]
Callaeidae (Wattlebirds)
NORTH ISLAND KOKAKO (Callaeas wilsoni) – We were lucky to get such amazing views at Tiritiri after only hearing "Sundance" at Pureora. [E]
NORTH ISLAND SADDLEBACK (Philesturnus rufusater) – Dirt common on Tiritiri, and many at Tawharanui Park as well. [E]
SOUTH ISLAND SADDLEBACK (Philesturnus carunculatus) – After only hearing it on Ulva Is., it was great to see a bird really well in the Marlborough Sound! Lucky, too, since Clements Checklist has just split the two saddlebacks as separate species! [E]
Notiomystidae (Stitchbird)
STITCHBIRD (Notiomystis cincta) – An endemic NZ family with only one member, we saw lots of these curious birds on Tiritiri. [E]
Cracticidae (Bellmagpies and Allies)

Red-billed Gull is a common endemic on the tour. (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE (Gymnorhina tibicen) – Common in pastures throughout the country. [I]
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
NEW ZEALAND FANTAIL (Rhipidura fuliginosa) – Locally called "piwakawaka" this little butterfly-like monarch flycatcher is endearing. [E]
Petroicidae (Australasian Robins)
TOMTIT (Petroica macrocephala) – Heard far more often than seen, it is easiest on the North Island. South Island birds have an orange-stained chest, but North Island birds have a white-chest. [E]
NEW ZEALAND ROBIN (NORTH ISLAND) (Petroica australis longipes) – Common at Pureora and Tiritiri. [E]
NEW ZEALAND ROBIN (SOUTH ISLAND) (Petroica australis australis) – Common in Fiordland. [E]
NEW ZEALAND ROBIN (STEWART ISLAND) (Petroica australis rakiura) – Common and very confiding at Ulva is.
Alaudidae (Larks)
SKY LARK (Alauda arvensis) – The famous European songster is widespread and common in pastures country wide. [I]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
WELCOME SWALLOW (Hirundo neoxena) – Fairly recent colonizer from Oz, and now common throughout.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)

Little Penguins have spooky eyes! (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

FERNBIRD (Megalurus punctatus) – The "canastero" of NZ, we saw it well at the shore of Lake Taupo. [E]
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
SILVER-EYE (Zosterops lateralis) – The white-eye that has colonized NZ and is now one of the most widespread of its passerines.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula) – This and the next species are abundant throughout the country... perhaps more so even than back in Europe! [I]
SONG THRUSH (Turdus philomelos) [I]
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) – Common throughout. [I]
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – Only found in the northern 2/3 of the North Island. [I]
Prunellidae (Accentors)
DUNNOCK (Prunella modularis) – Common on the South Island, and at some places on the North Island. [I]
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AUSTRALASIAN PIPIT (Anthus novaeseelandiae) – Recently split from Richard's Pipit, this species is also found on New Guinea and Australia, as well as some subantarctic islands. We saw it well on the slopes of Ruapehu volcano.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)

Brown Teal is a strange endangered endemic duck. It will hang out in shaded waterways (now mostly in predator-free zones) and will enter forest at night to feed on the ground like a kiwi! (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

YELLOWHAMMER (Emberiza citrinella) – A European introduction that is common in open habitats. We saw them particularly well on the Kaikoura peninsula. [I]
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
COMMON CHAFFINCH (Fringilla coelebs) – One of the most common passerines in NZ, and found in native forest as well as exotic habitats. [I]
EUROPEAN GREENFINCH (Chloris chloris) – This and the next two species are very common throughout the country, and all were introduced from Britain in the 1800s. [I]
COMMON REDPOLL (Acanthis flammea) – Most common on the South Island and more mountainous sites on the North Island. Seen almost daily, but best at Pureora and the Canterbury plains. [I]
EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH (Carduelis carduelis) [I]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Yup. [I]

COMMON BRUSHTAIL POSSUM (Trichosurus vulpecula) – Seen dead on road (DOR). [I]
EUROPEAN HEDGEHOG (Erinaceus europaeus) – Mostly seen DOR [I]

A Southern Royal Albatross investigating the chum (Photo by guide Dan Lane)

OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus) – Seen live at many places, but also DOR. [I]
CAPE HARE (Lepus capensis) – Same as the last. [I]
BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (Tursiops truncatus) – One of the two species of dolphin we saw on the extension.
SHORT-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHIN (Delphinus delphis) – The other Hauraki dolphin.
DUSKY DOLPHIN (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) – The more common of the two dolphins we saw on the main tour.
HECTOR'S DOLPHIN (Cephalorhynchus hectori) – Rare and endemic, we saw this small dolphin best on the Otago boat trip.
SPERM WHALE (Physeter catodon) – A distant animal was visible on our first Kaikoura pelagic, and Martin saw another on his whalewatching trip.
BRYDE'S WHALE (Balaenoptera edeni) – An exciting cetacean we saw on the Hauraki extension.
STOAT (SHORT-TAILED WEASEL) (Mustela erminea) – Seen dead in a trap, and a live one briefly crossing the road after we saw the Okarito Kiwi. [I]
HOOKER'S SEA LION (Phocarctos hookeri) – Apparently, usually seen resting on sand. A female charged us on a beach on the South Island.
NEW ZEALAND FUR SEAL (Arctocephalus forsteri) – Usually rests on rocks, common the South Island. A fun sighting was of pups at a waterfall a little way from the coast.


The following fish were seen on our Hauraki Gulf Extension:

Hammerhead Shark- Wow! Great views of this weird fish!

Mako Shark- After checking online resources, it was clear the shark we saw well from the boat near the end of our outing was a Mako, not a Blue.

Mola-mola (Ocean Sunfish)- Not the best views, but a heck of a cool fish to see!

Travelli- reportedly, these were the fish that were ambushing the krill en masse in that little harbor where we had lunch.

Totals for the tour: 134 bird taxa and 13 mammal taxa