13:00-19:30 Cloudy Wave height : 1-1.5m (a swell from the east) Wind condition : 4-5m (from the northeast) We joined the pelagic trip by Wrybill Birding Tours.
We want to see a certain Pycroft’s Petrel. Because there are uncertainty records of Pycroft’s Petrel? in Japan. So we wants to make sure of Pycroft’s Petrel! In the Mercury Islands, at off Whitianga, there are colonies of Pycroft’s Petrel. The main purpose of this pelagic trip is observing Pycroft’s Petrels around their colonies. In the end, we could observe 3? Pycroft’s Petrels! We understood that ID is very difficult… But the body balance, face and neck pattern and bill size are certainly different! It is exciting that we could observe 2 Little Shearwaters. In comparison to Bryan’s Shearwater, the under parts (especialy under wing and under tail) of Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis looks more white! In addition, we could observe many Buller’s Shearwaters and some Cook’s Petrels, Parkinson’s Petrels and White-faced Storm-petrels. And the seafood in Whitianga is very delicious!! It was good day :)!
Kaikoura is one of the most famous spot of seabirding. We joined the pelagic trip by Albatross Encounter.
As soon as we left the port, we saw the Albatrosses, Petrels and Gulls that followed the fishing boat. We started first chuming session near the fishing boat. The main species were Wondering Albatross, Salvin’s Albatross, Northern Giant Petrel, Cape Petrel and Westland Petrel. And there were several White-capped Albatrosses. After that, our boat stands out to sea, Royal Albatross could be seen. Many of them were Southern Royal Albatross, and fortunatrly, we could see a few Northern Royal Albatrosses. On the way of back to the harbor, we played with Dusky Dolphins and we encountered with Spotted shags. Further, the large flock of Hutton’s Shearwaters was a fine sight. We could meet a lot of seabirds, it was a moving trip! thanks!
After departure we met Fluttering Shearwaters(I think), a Arctic Jaeger and Australasian Gannets for a while. Our boat was stopped near the school of fish. Fairy Prions, Cook’s Petrels, Buller’s Shearwaters and Fluttering Shearwaters were attracted to the school of fish! After a while, White-faced Storm-petrels came around the school of fish. And to our joy, New Zealand Storm-petrel came too !! New Zealand Storm-petrel was flying beautiful, quickly and tricky! When the chumming session,Fairy Prion, Cook’s Petrel and Black Petrel came near our boat. After lunch, we encountered a herd of dolphins (False Killer Whale and Common Bottlenose Dolphin). There were many birds with dolphins. Fairy Prions, Cook’s Petrel, Black Petrel, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Buller’s Shearwater, White-faced Storm-petrel and New Zealand Storm-petrel was seen. We could see Blue Penguin on the way to the port 🙂