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New Zealand, the Final Frontier, 2019-2020

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Old Tuesday 19th May 2020, 17:07   #76
etudiant
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Impressively robust legs! Do the Kiwis use them to dig thing up?

Also, in picture two, is that whitish area behind the eye the ear of the bird or some tick?
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Old Tuesday 19th May 2020, 19:05   #77
Jos Stratford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by temmie View Post
Awesome! So it's a lawn bird?
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It looks like some creature out of Fantastic Beasts!
At 2.45 am, after umpteen hours, it was indeed awesome and a fantastic beast
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Old Tuesday 19th May 2020, 19:05   #78
Jos Stratford
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Impressively robust legs! Do the Kiwis use them to dig thing up?

Also, in picture two, is that whitish area behind the eye the ear of the bird or some tick?
The legs are just amazing - I think primarily for running and fighting, rather than digging. It is the ear in picture two - strange to see in a bird, but then just about everthing in a kiwi is strange :)
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Old Tuesday 19th May 2020, 19:09   #79
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30 December. Stewart Island & Ulva Island.

With my pelagic cancelled and having scored my Southern Brown Kiwi the previous evening, I nipped down to the ferry port first thing and changed my ticket, departing this day instead of the next as planned. I then popped over to Ulva Island for another look round - pretty much the same birds as a couple of days earlier (Yellowheads, South Island Saddlebacks, South Island Robins, etc), but with one added curious sight - in dense forest right in the centre of the island, a female Sea Lion with pup! A most strange sight in the thick of the forest, apparently the females haul themselves into the forest to have their pups to avoid the heavyweight males who could otherwise squash the pups.

A regular horde of White-capped Albatrosses on the hop back to Stewart Island, then a couple of hours to kill before the ferry back across the Foveaux Strait. Though far calmer than on my outward journey, winds had fortunately picked up somewhat, good omens for another productive crossing. And pretty good it turned out to be - White-capped Albatrosses and Sooty Shearwaters as expected, plus a pleasing minimum of 30 Common Diving Petrels, three Cook's Petrels, a single White-chinned Petrel and a distant probable Mottled Petrel. Also managed one Little Blue Penguin, a couple of Foveaux Shags and, quite near Bluff, one Pomarine Skua, my only one of the trip.

Once in Bluff, now late afternoon, I retrieved my car and set off for the scenic delights of the Southern Alps, the road to Milford Sound to be precise. Had plans to explore the rocky slopes adjacent to Homer Tunnel the following day, so drove as far as the Eglinton River Valley this evening, camping at the quaint Mackay Creek campsite, one South Island Robin greeting me on arrival, Moreporks calling after dark.
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Old Tuesday 19th May 2020, 19:11   #80
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White-capped Albatrosses
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 10:55   #81
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Hi Jos, I am not usually an envious person, but seeing that Kiwi bird up close and feeding is quite special.

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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 22:48   #82
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Congratulations on the SB Kiwi - what a beast!
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