New Zealand Holiday February 2019

Myself, my wife and two friends (all non-birders (except me)) flew out from Manchester Airport at 11:15 on Sunday 10th. Feb. We arrived in T2 at Singapore’s Changi airport at 11:15 uk time (a 12 hr flight after favourable tail winds). Then a quick transfer to T3 via the sky train (monorail) and 45 minutes after arriving we were airborne again. However whilst taxi-ing on the runway I spotted 3 Cattle Egrets, a single Lark species and 6 House Crows.
We arrived in Auckland, New Zealand at 00:55 local time on Tuesday 12th. Feb (11:55 am Monday UK time) after a further 7 hour flight and at around 2 am we checked into our hotel. I struggled to get to sleep and got up at 6:30 am, by 6:45 it was light and I spotted my first NZ birds through the hotel window, firstly a feral pigeon and then 8 or so Mallard, followed by my first NZ endemic, a Red-Billed Gull*. During breakfast at a local cafe I spotted European House Sparrows and a Blackbird. Later in the morning we went to the Skytower (the tallest building in Auckland) at the base of the tower were several Welcome Swallow.LPA_0146LPA_0102
In the afternoon we took the ‘hop-on/hop-off bus’ that took us on a route that passed the docks and along the shore to the east of the city to Bastion Point, before turning south to the Auckland museum. Along the shore I noted Variable Oystercatcher*, Black-Backed Gull and the ever present Red-Billed Gull. Whilst my wife and friends visited the museum I took a walk around the adjacent Domain park (including the Wintergarden).
Here I saw, a pair of Australian Magpies, LPA_0062Feral Pigeon, Red-Billed Gull, Mallard, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Song Thrush, Myna (aka Indian or Common Mynah), Grey Duck & Grey Duck/Mallard hybrids, Tui*, Stichbird*, probable Fantail* heard, Eastern Rosella heard. Other wildlife included Monarch, Long Tailed Blue and White Butterfly, a brief glimpse of a large dragonfly and a Common Redcoat Damselfly.
Day 1 (in NZ) – species totals were 16 birds (including 5 endemics marked *); 2 Odonata and 3 Lepidoptera.


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