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Tiri Tiri Matangi, New Zealand (Center on Interactive Map)

Map of Tiri Tiri Matangi, New Zealand

Map of Tiri Tiri Matangi, New Zealand

New Zealand Bellbird (Anthornis melanura) Whitehead (Mohoua albicilla) Saddleback (Philesturnus rufusater) - North Island Brown Quail (Synoicus ypsilophorus) Brown Teal (Anas aucklandica) Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus)
Saddleback (Philesturnus rufusater) - North Island ssp. North Island Kokako (Callaeas wilsoni) Red-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) Stitchbird (Notiomystis cincta) Takahe (Porphyrio hochstetteri) Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus) - Juvenile
Sacred Kingfisher (Todirhamphus sanctus) Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae) Spotless Crake (Zapornia tabuensis)

This small island near Auckland has been cleared of introduced predators, and thus is full of native wildlife.


New Zealand

1/26/2012: After a grueling seven hour ferry crossing to Wellington, a heartbreaking overtime playoff loss for the 49ers, an endlessly dull and also delayed train trip from Wellington to Auckland, and the greasiest diner in all of New Zealand, I was ready to investigate Tiri Tiri Matangi.

Tiri was cleared of rodents and stoats in the 1970s, and it is now a nature reserve. In a bit of luck, we were able to book overnight for the bunkhouse on Tiri. The bunkhouse was booked solid for weeks on either side of the only day that we could have visited.

We walked on almost every trail on the island. It is a scenic island, and once we got away from the visitor's center, we were not seeing a lot of the other day-trippers. We found our own private beach complete with a sea cave on the north end of the island. The North Island was a lot warmer than the South Island, and finally there was the chance to swim without a wetsuit!

Finally, night came, and we were rid of the day-trippers. We went back to the bunkhouse only to learn that while we lounged on our private beach, everyone and their grandma had seen the Morepork in broad daylight. Not only that, but the rare Kokako had made its appearance. Coming toward the end of the trip, I was starting to worry that I would dip on both of those New Zealand endemics.

As it came to be nighttime, just about everyone at the bunkhouse created a group to go out looking for the Spotted Kiwi and Tuataras. We walked around for awhile, but there were really too many in the group, or so I had thought. I heard something in the brush, and while I investigated, we somehow got split up from the group. We were now wandering around in the dark looking for landmarks. It sure is a good thing that we had walked so much of the island during the day, or else we might have spent the night in the woods. While we were wandering around, we started seeing Morepork everywhere! The Spotted Kiwi was not to be found however.

Somehow, we arrived at the bunkhouse before the group. Not sure how that happened, we ran into one of the researchers who had been part of the group. While we were lost in the forest, the group had found a Tuatara that was eating a Bellbird. Then, a kiwi came into the scene. We missed all of the best excitement.

I was quite annoyed by my misfortune, and I decided to trek off into the forest by myself to see if I could find a kiwi. I heard something in the brush... was it a kiwi? No, it was a brown teal wandering around at night in the forest. I walked around for another 45 minutes before I finally gave up hope at 1:00AM. Of course, just minutes from the bunkhouse, I nearly tripped over a kiwi running across the road.

The next day, I was able to add my daytime Morepork as well as the Kokako and Spotless Crake before the torrential downpour started. I can hardly wait to visit Tiri Tiri again.

Previous Visit (Queen Charlotte Sound: 1/22/2012)
Next Visit (Whitianga: 1/28/2012)

Species Recorded (25)

Birds ( 25 )

Honeyeaters ( Meliphagidae )
New Zealand Bellbird - Anthornis melanura
Stitchbird - Notiomystis cincta
Tui - Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae

( Apterygidae )
Little Spotted Kiwi - Apteryx owenii

Penguins ( Spheniscidae )
Little Penguin - Eudyptula minor

Shearwaters and Petrels ( Procellariidae )
Buller's Shearwater - Ardenna bulleri
Fluttering Shearwater - Puffinus gavia

Boobies and Gannets ( Sulidae )
Australasian Gannet - Morus serrator

Hawks, Eagles, and Kites ( Accipitridae )
Swamp Harrier - Circus approximans

Herons ( Ardeidae )
Pacific Reef-Heron - Egretta sacra

Swans, Geese, and Ducks ( Anatidae )
Brown Teal - Anas chlorotis

Grouse, Turkeys, and Allies ( Phasianidae )
Brown Quail - Synoicus ypsilophorus

Rails, Gallinules, and Allies ( Rallidae )
South Island Takahe - Porphyrio hochstetteri
Australasian Swamphen - Porphyrio melanotus
Spotless Crake - Zapornia tabuensis

New World Parrots ( Psittacidae )
Red-fronted Parakeet - Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae

Typical Owls ( Strigidae )
Morepork - Ninox novaeseelandiae

( Dacelonidae )
Sacred Kingfisher - Todiramphus sanctus

Swallows ( Hirundinidae )
Welcome Swallow - Hirundo neoxena

Jays and Crows ( Corvidae )
Whitehead - Mohoua albicilla

Wagtails and Pipits ( Motacillidae )
New Zealand Pipit - Anthus novaeseelandiae

Starlings and Mynas ( Sturnidae )
Common Myna - Acridotheres tristis

( Eopsaltriidae )
North Island Robin - Petroica longipes

( Callaeatidae )
North Island Kokako - Callaeas wilsoni
North Island Saddleback - Philesturnus rufusater




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