In January this year, Tom and I ventured down to the bottom of New Zealand for an ecology contract surveying Toheroa. We were there to count and measure these shellfish on Oreti Beach, near Invercargill, in a effort to estimate the population and age distribution. They were an interesting species to work with considering their place…
We had been instructed by our knowledgeable friends that if we were to turn over a few stones we would be in luck. No word of a lie, a few stones later we had found our first Hochstetter’s.
To see this individual was remarkable. Not just because it is the only known bird to have ever landed on mainland New Zealand, but because, by chance, we managed to stumble onto its location before its seaward departure at sunrise.
The Muriwai gannet colony in one of three mainland gannet colonies in New Zealand. The origin of the colony at Muriwai began on the island of Oaia, just off the coast where gannets first established nesting sites in the early 20th century.