Well its been a crazy couple of weeks trying to get bird monitoring work and Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ tour planning done...but most of it is done. Too late for the moment anyway as I'm sitting at Auckland Airport waiting for my flight to Buenos Aires. Have a night there and then fly down to Ushuaia with another night there before getting on the Polar Star. Looking forward to it now its too late to worry about what hasn't been finished!
It was working right up to the last minute as usual. I was involved with an oil response practice excercise this morning at the Napier Port (I'm a Wildlife Coordinator on the Hawkes Bay and National response teams). Rather heartened to see around 200 breeding pairs of black-billed gulls in two distinct (roughly equal) colonies within the port. One was on the end of a manmade wharf surrounded by crates, barrels, etc and the other was on a manmade breakwater amongst boulders. Despite the traffic and activity the colony appeared to be quite successful with lots of young (at practically all stages from small fluffy chicks through to fledged juvs) as well as birds apparently still incubating. Also about 10 pairs of white-fronted terns also mostly with chicks.
So then home final pack and then lunch on the section wih Adel in the lovely sunshine...why am I going to the Antarctic again??!!
I will have intermittent internet access over the next few weeks (home on 18 January) but should be able to update the blog every now and then with photos etc.