Saturday, July 26, 2008

Black Shag

Howdy all

We had our first tour out this morning after the very rough seas at the end of last week. The sea was still a bit lumpy this morning but more than calm enough for Gary to handle with keen birders. It proved well worth going this morning as we saw a black shag, we are lucky if we see this species more than once a year, so a very successful tour. We are hoping the strong winds of the weekend have blown even more unusual species our way and we are looking forward to seeing what is around over the next week or so (especially when we head offshore on Saturday).

We will keep you posted....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Explorer Tour Rescheduled to the 2nd August

Hi all

Strong southerly winds have been battering the Kaikoura coast for the last couple of days and they are forecast to continue well into Sunday (the 27th July) so we have decided to reschedule our all day Explorer Tour for next weekend (Saturday the 2nd August).
Hopefully the strong southerlies will blow some interesting species our way for next weekend!

(Here are some pictures of the sea taken from South Bay and the seal colony at Kaikoura)

Hope to see you then


Monday, July 21, 2008

Grey Petrel

Hello All

On Friday the 4th of July we were out with a film crew who were filming albatross here in Kaikoura, both in flight and they got some good underwater footage of the albatross feeding, and we spotted a pretty rare visitor..

It was NW wind conditions and we were only 8 miles offshore, we had huge numbers of southern royal albatross and black browed and Buller's when we spotted a grey petrel. This was an exciting spot as it is not a species we see here very often and surprising that we did not have to go very far offshore to see it.

It is going to be very interesting to see what species are going to be around when we run our offshore 'Explorer Tour' this saturday especially as we are headed quite a bit further offshore,
See you then.........


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fiordland-crested Penguin rescued by concerned family

Hi all

On the 10th of July we had a family from Australia drop by and they told us they had found an injured penguin on the beach just north of Kaikoura. They brought the penguin in wrapped in a towel and we duely reported it to DOC who sent an officer (Paul Mccahon) who collected it. Paul has since updated us and confirmed that it is a Fiordland-crested penguin and it is very weak and dehydrated but still pretty fiesty and he thinks it has a good chance of making it back to full health.

A very rare visitor to Kaikoura and due to their low numbers we will be hoping that this individual makes a full recovery, we will keep you posted.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

3 Weeks to go Until Explorer Tour

Hi All

Only three weeks to go until our Explorer Tour on Saturday the 26th July, there has been some keen birders book on already and there are still a few seats left so email or free phone 0800733365. Followers of the blog will have seen we have had a few rarities in Kaikoura recently including a Light-mantled sooty albatross so we are pretty excited about what we may see on the 26th.

Hope to see you in 3 weeks time


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Light-mantled Sooty Albatross!

Hi All

Yesterday (the 1st of July) we had a very good day of birding, Alastair and Alex were with a BBC film crew who were filming albatross for an upcoming documentary about the wildlife of the South Pacific. The cameraman was filming albatross feeding and we had a good variety of species around the boat (Gibson's, antipodean, southern royal, black-browed, Buller's and Salvin's) when Al spotted a Light-mantled sooty flying at the back of the feeding group, the rest of the boat looked up to see the albatross do another fly-by at the back of the group and then it was off again, not before we had a good look at its very distinctive plumage. It is only the second time we have seen a Light-mantled sooty on our albatross encounter

Whilst this was happening Gary was about 5miles south on a different tour and he spotted an entire flock of antarctic fulmars about 25-30 birds, a very rare sighting here where we usually see the species in ones or twos.

A good day birding and as both vessels were a little further offshore than usual, hopefully an indication of what we can expect to see on our longer explorer tours.

Until then, good birding...........