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where to find whio (blue duck) (1 Viewer)

My wife and I will be in New Zealand for a short 2-week trip this coming February. To keep from sprinting around the whole time we're only going to be on the South Island, probably from Christchurch south. I'll probably have several questions, but let's start with this...

We're not going to spend all of our time birding, but I would go out of my way to see whio (NZ blue duck) in the wild.

Does anyone know of the best (or some good) places to look? What I've found on birdforum and the net in general has been:
- Cedar Flats track near Hokitika (Wren Creek area?)
- Routeburn track
- Milford track
- Styx River
- Oparara basin in Kahurangi Nat'l Park

Other than the Cedar Flats track, I haven't been able to find out where within the area or track to look. If it's just "look along fast moving rivers" then so be it, but I thought I'd see if anyone knew anything more specific or if anyone knew better places than those I've listed.

thanks!
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
Not to put you off too much, but I spent 9 weeks in NZ in late '06 and spent a long time checking every site on the South Island unsuccessfully...!! The only place I saw Whios was on the North......good luck!!
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
hi again

Have just spoken to a Dutch friend of mine who has recently been out to NZ and hr found the ducks at Raetihi and in the Karamea area, just ask at the DOC office there for the latest sightings...so sounds more hopeful than my last message!
Don't kknow if you're wanting Rock Wren but the meteorological station just before the Homer Tunnel is probably the easiest sight to see them.
Cheers
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Thanks for the reply! I'd stopped checking this thread, because it didn't seem to be frequented by people who'd spent much time in NZ. I'll check out the places you mentioned and see if we can get to them.

I had heard about the Homer Tunnel rock wren location. We'll stop if the weather's decent.

thanks again!
 

James Lowther

Well-known member
if you want a good spot for whio on the north island i can help you out, but i'm afraid i don't know much about the south island
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
Thanks for the reply! I'd stopped checking this thread, because it didn't seem to be frequented by people who'd spent much time in NZ. I'll check out the places you mentioned and see if we can get to them.

I had heard about the Homer Tunnel rock wren location. We'll stop if the weather's decent.

thanks again!

No probs, any more info required don't hesitate to pm me. NZ was great!
 
Wondered if you are same man that put on BIRDINGNZ website these same question and help request? My mate been replying to writer of that bulletin, but writer is anonymus, so we dont know if it same bloke. if not got his reply
I will send info to you on here. Sorry if got wrong fella, it just look like same because same route and species and dates of trip given, but no name. If it not you then reckon you have another group walking same track same time. Be glad to help on Kiwi but not got southern whio site.
Good luck from Rewi
 
yes, i was the one who posted on the birdingnz yahoo list. there wasn't much traffic here, so i actually forgot to check back here. i got many great recs from the list.

in any case, we had a fantastic trip. as always, too short...

and we actually did get to see a whio family in the first place we looked! we decided to do the cedar flat route inland from hokitika, not so much to look for whio (though i knew there was some chance). it was a great hike (made more "exciting" by poor time management on our part ;-) ) and we were rewarded with views of 4 whio as we were getting close to the huts. the hike also gave us fantastic views of weka, tomtit and fantail, in addition to being a fun challenge (i recommend the flood route if you're looking for the challenge part.)

thanks for everyone's input!
 
I live on the West Coast. The closest ones to me are South of the Glaciers. There is a track called the Haast-Paringa Cattle track. The blue duck I have seen where very conveniently by BlowFly Hut. This is a 6 bed hut only 2 hours from the maid road ( SH6)
You can come and see me the night prior and have a look for the Okarito Kiwi. I have a 98% success rate this season.
Ian Cooper
 

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