Despite being known as one of the New Zealand wrens, of which it is one of only two surviving species, the Rifleman actually belongs to the ancient Acanthisittidae family. They are often called “wrens” due to similarities in appearance and behaviour to the true wrens of the family Troglodytidae.
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.
On a recent exploit to Bushy Park, Whanganui, we heard, and consequently hunted down two New Zealand falcon (karearea) perching high up in a tree amongst the epiphytes. This was a first for me and a great chance to get some photographs.
Now that I am in New Zealand, I’ve been looking out for kingfishers. I often hear a ‘keh-keh-keh’ as I go about my daily business, and even see the silhouette of New Zealand kingfishers perching, at height, on telegraph wires near waterways.
At Bushy Park, despite knowing that hihi have used natural cavities before, no nests in natural cavities have actually been found. That is why, when walking through the bush on Wednesday, we were very excited to spot a female hihi emerge from a hole in a tawa tree.