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Arthur's Pass, New Zealand (Center on Interactive Map)

Map of Arthur's Pass, New Zealand

Map of Arthur's Pass, New Zealand

Weka (Gallirallus australis) Chiltons Giant Dragonfly (Uropetala chiltoni) Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)

Alpine park on New Zealand's South Island.


New Zealand

1/18/2012: Our next stop was an overnight at Arthur's Pass. I was still desperately looking for the Rock Wren and Blue Duck, and at this point I was about to give up on both of them.

We arrived in the early afternoon at the Arthur's Pass Village, and this time it was pretty easy to find a room for the night. We headed up to the Otira Valley which is supposed to be the spot to see these particular birds. We looked around for the ducks for awhile, and just when I decided that I would never find them, I looked down into the valley and saw a Blue Duck! The river was barely visible from where I was standing, but there was the duck right in the perfect spot!

This got my hopes up for the Rock Wren. I continued walking up the valley and past the sign that warned me that I would soon be dead for walking off trail. Despite the two hours or so that I spent in the rockfall area, I did not see any birds of any kind. There were plenty of moths and giant damselflies, but that was not what I had come looking for.

The next day, on the advice of the Department of Conservation, we kloofed our way up a braided river en route to a cabin that is supposed to have the wren. We walked for a good three hours before some massive storm came sweeping into the valley. Walking in all the rocks pretty much put an end to my shoes, and I saw more Chaffinch than I thought might exist in this world.

The final stop on the way to Christchurch was a stop at Lake Pearson to see some Crested Grebes. The storm hit us just as we reached the lake, and some of the locals were especially annoyed that their camping trip was about to be ruined.

Previous Visit (Okarito: 1/17/2012)
Next Visit (Mata Kopee Lagoon: 1/19/2012)

Species Recorded (10)

Birds ( 9 )

( Apterygidae )
Great Spotted Kiwi - Apteryx haastii

Grebes ( Podicipedidae )
Great Crested Grebe - Podiceps cristatus

Swans, Geese, and Ducks ( Anatidae )
Pacific Black Duck - Anas superciliosa
New Zealand Scaup - Aythya novaeseelandiae
Blue Duck - Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos

Rails, Gallinules, and Allies ( Rallidae )
Weka - Gallirallus australis

New World Parrots ( Psittacidae )
Kea - Nestor notabilis

Thrushes and Allies ( Turdidae )
Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula

Cardueline Finches and Allies ( Fringillidae )
Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs




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