Birdlife Galore At The Snares

4 January, 2018

A magnificent zodiac cruise this morning at the Snares. We spent three hours exploring the coastal slopes, coves and inlets from Broughton Island in the south, up the east coast of North East Island, around the Penguin Slide, and finally up to Daption Rocks in the north.

As the name suggests, great rafts of Cape Petrels (Daption capense australe) were resting and feeding on the water around this rocky outcrop. Large numbers of Buller’s Albatross have returned to the island in the 10 days since we were last here, and could be seen busily adding finishing touches to their pedestal nests, or soaring around the precipitous granite cliffs.

The Snares Crested Penguins were also rafting up in large numbers, or noisily communing on the coastal rock platforms.  New Zealand Fur Seals lounged sleepily above the tideline, and generally dismissed our presence with a sidewise glare.

In Ho Ho Bay and in Station Cove good numbers of the black Tomtit were seen , in an around the tree Daisy canopy, while Snares Punui (Azorella robusta) could be seen flowering beneath it. 

As we pulled away from Broughton Island, the clag lifted further, allowing us some of best views I’ve had of the Western Chain, stretching west and south of the main island. In all a spectacular morning in the South Pacific.

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