NEW ZEALAND northern North Island


Annotated list of 69 native birds and 19 exotics encountered during my visit to North Island, New Zealand, 12-16 Nov 2009. Those preceded by an asterisk [*] were lifers for me. Those preceded by an "I" are non-native introduced exotics. — D. Roberson

North Island Brown Kiwi Apteryx mantelli: three were seen, a male & 2 females, after dark on a guided trip, led by Detlef & Carol Davies, in the Marsden Cross vicinity of the Purerua Peninsula, about 30 km from Kerikeri. Another two were heard, so 5 kiwi in all
Paradise Shelduck Tadorna variegata: several pairs encountered on ponds on mainland
I Mallard Anas platyrhynchos: widely distributed
Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa: two, presumably a pair, on Waro Lake. They were with a mixed flock that included Mallards and possible hybrid Mallard x Pacific Black Duck
Brown Teal Anas chlorotis: a pair of this endangered duck, and two precocial chicks, were on a pond on the Main Track, Tiritiri MatangI Island
I Brown Quail Coturnix ypsilophora: a pair were foraging on the Wattle Track at Tiritiri Matangi
I Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus: scattered birds in open country, usually heard
I Common Peafowl Pavo cristatus: one strutting and calling at Pakiri Beach
I Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo: scattered birds in open country, usually heard
I California Quail Callipepla californica: rather common and widespread in open country & small towns
Little Penguin Eudyptula minor: two in a nest box on the Tiritiri Matangi beach
Northern Giant-Petrel Macronectes halli: one Hauraki Gulf pelagic trip
Cook's Petrel Pterodroma cooki: an estimated 500 on Hauraki Gulf pelagic trip, most off Little Barrier I., where they breed
Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur: ~30 on Hauraki Gulf pelagic trip
Parkinson's Petrel [Black Petrel] Procellaria parkinsoni: one came to chum and sat right next to the boat for long periods during the HaurakI Gulf pelagic trip
Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes: about 8 from the ferry Gulf Harbour to Tiritiri Matangi, and ~75 seen during the Hauraki Gulf pelagic, often sitting around the boat and squabbling
Buller's Shearwater Puffinus bulleri: one came to chum during Hauraki Gulf pelagic trip
Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia: ~50 seen on Hauraki Gulf pelagic trip
* Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis: ~20 of the local race were seen during the Hauraki Gulf pelagic trip
* New Zealand Storm-Petrel Oceanites maorianus: three, including 2 together, were northwest of Little Barrier I. during the HaurakI Gulf pelagic trip; one circled the boat at close range for lengthy periods, reacting to the chum
White-faced Storm-Petrel Pelagodroma marina: ~70 nicely viewed during Hauraki Gulf pelagic trip, as they ‘bounded’ and ‘water-skied’ from wavelet to wavelet
* Common Diving-Petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix: a dozen seen on Hauraki Gulf pelagic trip; most flush well ahead of the boat, and recall Cassin’s Auklet in looks and behavior
Australasian Gannet Morus serrator: an estimated 1800 (maybe 800 pairs plus floaters) at the Muriwai Gannet colony
Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax varius: 3 in Leigh harbor while we awaited the boat
Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos: a couple at Waro Lake
New Zealand Grebe Poliocephalus rufopectus: a pair on Waro Lake
White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae: singles one at Leigh, two at Pakiri Beach
Swamp Harrier Circus approximans: singles widely scattered on mainland, often seen while driving
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio: fairly common in wetlands througout
Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles: a couple at Pakiri Beach
Red-breasted Dotterel Charadrius obscurus: six pairs nesting on Pakiri Beach (mostly inside the enclosure) and another pair farther up the coast
Variable Oystercatcher Haematopus unicolor: fairly common along the coast
Pied Stilt Himantopus leucocephalus: an adult at Pakiri Beach was doing distraction displays
Red-billed Gull Chroicocephalus scopulinus: common and widespread on coast and in wetlands
Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus: fairly common on coast
Fairy Tern Sternula nereis: a single adult was on a nest within the enclosure on Pakiri Beach; it left nest to chase dotterels that got too close, and to dive-bomb walkers on the beach
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia: 3 at Pakiri Beach
White-fronted Tern Sterna striata: ~200 in their own nesting colony at the Muriwai gannetry, ~75 sitting on Pakiri Beach (where they do not nest), and others offshore from boats
I Rock Pigeon Columba livia: common in cities
New Zealand Pigeon Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae: surprising numbers (at least to me): present on Tiritiri Matangi Island, plus a small flock on Hen I., and birds in flight on mainland at Leigh harbor and Manginangina Reserve
New Zealand Kaka Nestor meridionalis: also surprised to see this parrot – one in flight over Leigh harbor, and 3 more seen from our boat anchored just off Hen I.
Red-fronted Parakeet Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae: a half-dozen on Tiritiri Matangi, and a few more at Manginangina Reserve
I Eastern Rosella Platycercus eximius: at least one seen in Manginangina Reserve
Morepork Ninox novaeseelandiae: one seen exceedingly well, and another heard, at night on the Purerua Peninsula, near Kerikeri
Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus: once I learned the call, this cool kingfisher was recorded widely on the mainland, from the Aukland zoo northward, and also heard on Hen I. and on Tiritiri
Stitchbird Notiomystis cincta: ~15 on Tiritiri Matangi, most of which were banded, split between the Wattle Track and Kawerau Track
New Zealand Bellbird Anthornis melanura: ~20 on Tiritiri Matangi, and most concentrated at feeders on Wattle Track
Tui Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae: surprisingly widespread, including in downtown Aukland and it suburban Leigh, within Manginangrina Reserve, and common on offshore islands, with 45 or more on Tiritiri and 40 on Hen I.
* Kokako Callaeas cinereus: a major highlight for me was watching one at close range (and another heard) along the lower Wattle Track on Tiritiri Matangi, where they are now doing well. They remain elusive and difficult to see, though, until finally tracked down by their haunting and beautiful calls.
Saddleback Philesturnus carunculatus: ten or on Tiritiri Matangi, and particularly apparent feeding on the ground below the trees along the lower Wattle Track, but widely distributed over the island
I Australasian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen: common roadside bird in open country
New Zealand Fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa: seen at several coastal spots (e.g., Leigh harbor), and then 10+ in Manginangina Reserve
New Zealand Robin Petroica australis: about 4 along the Kawerau Track on Tiritiri Matangi Island
Whitehead Mohoua albicilla: ~15 on Tiritiri Matangi, working through forest in small flocks
Rifleman Acanthisitta chloris: a recent re-introduction to Tiritiri Matangi, I was shown an active nest along the upper Kawerau Track, and watched the male come in with food and go inside nest several times
I Sky Lark Alauda arvensis: widespread in open country (e.g., ,2 singing at Pakiri Beach)
Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena: common and widespread, both on mainland and the islands just offshore that were visited
Gray Gerygone Gerygone igata: a couple singing at Leigh, one seen on Tiritiri
I Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula: fairly common and widespread, both in countryside and inside native forest on Tiritiri and Manginangina Reserve
I Song Thrush Turdus philomelos: a few daily in suburban gardens or roadsides
Silver-eye Zosterops lateralis: a couple in the garden of the Leigh motel
I European Starling Sturnus vulgaris: common in countryside and cities
I Common Myna Acridotheres tristis: common everywhere except in native forest, and even there numbers have penetrated and were singing in Manginangina Reserve
I Yellowhammer Emberiza citronella: a few males seen at roadside in countrside
I Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs: common in countryside
I European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris: one seen at Pakiri Beach
I European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis: fairly common in countryside
I House Sparrow Passer domesticus: common everywhere except in native forest

below: pair of Paradise Shelduck

Introduction & Mainland
November 2009
New Zealand
Tiritiri Matangi
page created 31 Dec 2009
© Don Roberson 2009