WE'VE been away! We went to NZ for 18 days with a stop over in Hong Kong; needless to say we had a fabulous time in both places. There was more opportunity to see wildlife in NZ, as we spent most of our time in the city in HK.
NZ is either farming or wild country (plus towns and a few cities of course). It has wonderful, huge and empty beaches, great glacial lakes and mountains, rolling pasture, wild rivers (some out of glaciers) and air so clear and clean its hard to believe. The oceans around it are teaming with big wildlife - whales, dolphins, seals and seal-lions, loads of fabulous pelagic birds, to name but a few.
In no particular order I'll post somes images - starting with the very photogenic nesting gannets at Muriwai on the coast, west of Auckland; they are such characters. Most were sitting on eggs, but a handful of chicks had hatched and looked little helpless, fluffy reptiles that had been sat on!
Unfortunately the successfulness of the gannets has been at the expense of the terns which have been pushed onto small sloping areas and whose numbers have recently dropped.
The introduced starlings have developed a taste for the nectar of the New Zealand flax flowers.
The yellow hammer seems to have less brown on the head than ours, but is an introduced species too.