New Zealand Hauraki Gulf Pelagic, 27/10/11 

The day of the long awaited Hauraki Gulf pelagic trip. This trip has become famous in recent years because of the rediscovery of New Zealand Storm Petrel, 150 years after the last known sighting. The first sighting of 
this once thought extinct species was made in 2003 and the following year followed up with conclusive proof. 
New Zealand Storm Petrel
White-faced Storm Petrel
We set off out of Sandspit and were soon into birds with Blue Penguin, Cook's Petrel, Fluttering and Buller's Shearwaters being seen before a single drop of chum hit the water. I felt sure a flyby storm petrel with white underparts was the hoped for New Zealand flavour! As soon as we stopped and began to chum, numerous  Flesh-footed Shearwaters and small numbers of Black Petrel began to arrive. Within minutes, we were looking at New Zealand Storm Petrel amongst numerous White-faced Storm Petrel. It seemed like two or three New Zealand Stormies were on view at any time. I thought I saw about 8 individuals although it was difficult to know if I recounted the same birds.

Further out, we encountered small numbers of Fairy Prions, hundreds of Buller's Sheawaters and many more Cook's Petrels. Amongst the Cook's Petrels a single Black-winged Petrel was picked out. Superficially similar to Cook's but with bolder black markings on the upper wing and more extensive black line on the underwing. The only albatross came in the form of a single Salvin's but they could wait until later in the trip. Bryde's Whale, Common Dolphin
Buller's Sheawater
and a performing Blue Shark were also memorable highlights of this spectacular pelagic trip
Buller's Sheawater
Flesh-footed Shearwater

Video grabs from my New Zealand 2011  DVD (see "Trip DVDS For Sale" tab at top of page)

Species seen today:

Paradise Shelduck 2
Little Penguin 5
Salvin's Albatross 1
Black-winged Petrel 1
Cook's Petrel Common
Fairy Prion 50
Black (Parkinson's) Petrel 100
Flesh-footed Shearwater Common
Buller's Shearwater Common
Sooty Shearwater 10
Fluttering Shearwater Common
Little Shearwater at least one
New Zealand Storm-Petrel ?8
White-faced Storm-Petrel 
CommonCommon Diving-petrel Common
Australian Gannet 500
Black Petrel
Pied Cormorant 10
Red-billed Gull 100
Kelp Gull 20
White-fronted Tern 20