So who is this weirdo?

Hi! My name is Liam and I am a beginner birder living in Glen Massey. I first became interested in birds after a 6-month missions trip to Papua New Guinea in 2016, and my interest grew from there! I am now a member of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand and Young Birders New Zealand (OSNZ and YBNZ respectively ). So now, I'm starting this blog so I can share my birding adventures with anyone who will listen ☺.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

The next 10 days...

It's been an action- and bird-packed few days, as I try and bump my year list up. I'll try and keep it short.

January 11th - Walking up Mt Te Aroha, followed by a visit to the slightly creepy Howarth Memorial Wetlands. Few bush birds around, however, there were some baby Dabchicks and a few Grey Teal in the wetlands. No sign of any crakes though.

January 12th - Fairly uneventful, although I managed to catch up with the resident New Zealand Pipit hanging around the back of our road, as well as a few Lesser Redpolls. Late that night I boarded the bus to Wellington.

January 13th - I arrived at Wellington the next morning, snatching four hours sleep on the bus. I met with George Hobson - a fellow birder - and his dad. We began driving up the coast to Otaki Wastewater Treatment Plant, where we picked up Michael Burton-Smith and Huia Wesling-Macgregor. Thanks to George's sharp eyes I got my first lifer of the year - Black-fronted Dotterel and we kept going up the Kapiti coast. Bar-tailed Godwit and Red Knot at Ohau Estuary as well as a Barbary Dove, followed by some Banded Dotterels at Foxton Beach and Black-billed Gulls at Lake Horowhenua - all new for my year list! We made it to Whanganui, where we dipped on New Zealand's only known population of Nankeen Night-Herons, but picked up Mute Swan at Virginia Lake and New Zealand Falcon and North Island Robin at Kemp's Pole, among others. A big day indeed!

January 14th - Straight on to a bach in Pungarehu, Taranaki Region, with my family. An afternoon seawatch at Cape Egmont yielded a whole swag of lifers - Sooty, Flesh-footed, Buller's Shearwaters, and Common Diving-Petrel. Buller's Shearwater was number 120 on my NZ list... No mollymawks or albatrosses though.

January 15th - 18th - Our Taranaki holiday continued, with much beach birding but nothing extra-special. A bit of bush birding too, with Rifleman being the highlight.

January 19th - Heading home, we stopped at Mapara Scenic Reserve to look for kokako. No luck though, however Long-tailed Cuckoo and New Zealand Falcon were nice consolation prizes.

January 20th - Sat at home. Wrote blog post.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

First 10 days of the year - wrap up.

As I am a lazy and apathetic teenager, I thought that instead of documenting each of my birding adventures (if you can call them that!) this month, I would instead summarize each day in a few sentences as I begin my year-long quest to see as many birds as I possibly can in a calendar year. 90% of you will probably be fairly relieved to have a break from my clumsy pseudo-journalism, and the other person won't mind too much either. So, here we go:

1st January - After New Years celebrations, I escaped the house and sat in the garden for a few minutes until a Morepork called. The next morning, I ticked the common garden birds including Shining Cuckoo and Ring-necked Pheasant. In the afternoon I made it out to Hamilton Lake, where I got both geese, Spotted Dove, all the black-footed shags (Black, Pied, Little, Little Black), any easy birds I had missed that morning, and all the regular lake birds (Mallard, Coot, Pukeko, Feral Pigeon etc).

2nd January - Went to Kauaeranga Valley in Coromandel Forest Park with the family, getting NZ Pigeon (Kereru), Tomtit and Yellowhammer, as well as Kelp Gull in Thames.

From the 3rd to the 7th I had the awesome privilege of leading at a holiday camp in Ngaruawahia, so needless to say that nothing interesting birdwise went on.

8th January - Popped over to Pukemokemoke Bush Reserve, where California Quail was the only new one for the year.

9th January - Got up at an ungodly hour to go to Mt Pirongia, where many many Riflemen flitted around me, along with a Kaka, Whiteheads, and a Bellbird. Sadly I dipped on Falcon, Yellow-crowned Parakeet, Long-tailed Cuckoo and Kokako, but hey, that's the name of the blog.

10th January - Taitua Arboretum in the morning yielded exactly zero Guineafowl, however afternoon birding at Ngaruawahia Wastewater Treatment Plant got me Black Swan, Paradise Shelduck, Australian Shoveler, Grey Teal, Dabchick, Caspian Tern,  and finally, finally, FINALLY Spur-winged Plover.

In 10 days time hopefully I will get off my butt and write some more, and until then, enjoy your holidays!