Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

November 4, 2011

North Otago Wildlife

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:28 am

Dunedin to Oamaru.

After editing up my last video in Dunedin library, I headed north up the windy hills to the north along State Highway 1 (SH1).


North Otago Wilflife video

I saw this sign for a boat ramp and took off for the coast as it was getting dark. I found a nice spot on a hill for my camp and in the morning went down and had a look at Karitane .

Karitane Beach
Karitane Beach

There is a nice surfing beach and lots of wetlands with the potential for some good birdwatching. In 1837 Long and Wright set up a whaling station at Karitane and in 1840 a settlement was established. I walked up to the Huriawa Peninsula, the site of an old Maori pa, or fortified hill.

Shag Point
Shag Point

Then I carried on north and stopped at Shag Point. I was glad I stopped off here because I saw some New Zealand Fur Seals straight away.

New Zealand Fur Seal pup
Baby New Zealand Fur Seal

And then spotted a colony of White-fronted Terns who were within decent distance for some filming.

White-fronted Tern
White-fronted Tern colony

Then, to crown things off, I saw a whole bunch of Stewart Island Shags and Spotted Shags. The Stewart Island Shag was a new tick for me, so I was well stoked about that. Shag Poing is well worth a visit, especially as the Stewart Island Shags and Spotted Shags are so easily seen.

Stewart Island and Spotted Shags
Stewart Island Shags and Spotted Shags

There are also Yellow-eyed Penguins there too, but I am not very sure that they are very easily seen there. The best place for seeing Yellow-eyed Penguins is Curio Bay in the Catlins. I also got some nice shots of the New Zealand Fur Seals, so Shag Point was a good place for me.

After that, I headed west and camped at Trotters Gorge. There is a wonderful creek and some beautiful rain-forest that you can walk through. I went for a massive walk along the creek, then climbed up this enormous hill to the top of the gorge. I was knackered by the time I got back to my camp.

Trotters Gorge
Trotters Gorge Rainforest creek

The next morning I went and had a look at the Moeraki Boulders which are some spherical rock formations formed by some complex geological processes that I could not really understand.

Moeraki Boulders
Moeraki Boulders

They are really remarkable and well worth a look.

Moeraki Boulder split
Moeraki boulder split open

North Otago Bird List

Australasian Grebe
Red-billed Gull
Pied Oystercatcher
Variable Oystercatcher
Song Thrush
Goldfinch
Little Shag
Stewart Island Shag
Spotted Shag
Starling
Silvereye
Brown Creeper
Pied Stilt
Australian Magpie
White-fronted Tern
Welcome Swallow
New Zealand Pipit
New Zealand Pigeon
New Zealand Fantail

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