New Zealand, Picton, Blenheim and Kaikoura 4/11/11

We left Picton this morning, taking the scenic coastal road to Blenheim, home to a number of Marlborough Wineries.

Variable Oystercatcher

We stopped for lunch at Cloudy Bay Winery and sampled their fayre.

We then set off towards Kaikoura, stopping on route at a New Zealand Fur Seal colony

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

Pied Cormorant

Arriving at Kaikoura, we checked in for tomorrow's pelagic trip with Albatross Encounter, before spending the remainder of the afternoon at the tiip of the Kaikoura peninsula. Here, I found my first Banded Dotterel of the trip, feeding amongst the exposed rocks.  I could pick out several Albatross from point but without a scope   I could not identify them with certainty although there were some white backed species that were either Royal or Wandering Albatross. Could not wait until tomorrow!

Species seen around Kaikoura:

Sooty Shearwater 1
Hutton's Shearwater 100
Pied Cormorant 25
Spotted Shag 10
White-faced Heron 2
Double-banded Plover 4
South Island Oystercatcher 1
Variable Oystercatcher 10
Red-billed Gull Common
Kelp Gull 20
White-fronted Tern 10
Welcome Swallow Common