Bill and Mabel's New Zealand Adventures travel blog

Birding in the Reserve in Awatortara Valley


On the 3 of January, we arrived at the Chatham Islands. We were scheduled to land at Waitangi, but we landed to the north of Waitangi, in Port Hutt, because of large swells in the sea. After landing in the rain, we traveled by bus to the Tuku Reserve. Along the way in Waitangi, our bus broke down (bad alternator), and we had to wait an hour for new transportation to arrive. During the wait, we saw the Chatham Island Oyster catcher, the Chatham Island Shag and the Pitt Shag. Waitangi was a small town, but provided us an opportunity to go "shopping" for the first time in two weeks. Since we had about 50 people in our party, we overran the town.

When we arrived at the reserve at Awatotara Valley, the owners told us about the reserve and then we birded. The rain stopped and we saw the Chatham Island Pigeon and the Chatham Island Pipit. After an hour of searching, we found the Chatham Island Warbler (or Gerygone) in some non-native, evergreen trees. (We had been looking for it in the native trees.) We returned to Waitangi and spent the time in the Waitangi Hotel bar, having a beer and watching a dart game until the Zodiacs returned to take us back to the ship. After dinner, we left for Pyramid Island and the South East Island. The night and the next day were relatively calm.



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