Wednesday, 20 April 2011

And so the tour ends

The morning dawn blue skies and where was this when we needed it the day before?  We grabbed some breakfast at a nearby bakery and then sat and watched a roosting flock of mainly variable oystercatchers, with a few South Island oystercatchers spread amongst them, on a small piece of grass just up from the rocky shore.  A small group of pied stilts and red-billed gulls was also nearby, and as the pastry crumbs fell, the photographers clicked away.

We then headed south along the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula, checking out a few places along the way.  We made a stop to look for kaka, but with not a squeak the area seemed devoid of the species.  We did have great views of banded rail, and heard fernbird.  Then as we left, a car parked on the side of the road and a group of people standing on the side of the road suggested there was something worth looking at.  Slowing down we were told there was a kaka in the tree, so the van came to a screeching stop, and everyone piled out to watch a kaka feeding quietly on the fruits of a puriri tree.  Love it when a plan comes together...

We then continued our trek south, making a few stops to get lunch, and wine and stores for the ship.  As we got closer to Tauranga we still had a little time up our sleeve, so made a stop at the touristy Mt Maunganui for coffee, postcards, and a stroll along the beach.  We arrived at the ship at 1400 hrs, and as we were greeted by the ships staff it was time to say good bye.  All too soon the trip had come to an end, but we had seen most of what we hoped for, and managed to cover a fair bit of ground in our time.

Day total – Seen = 42; new for the trip = 0; total for the trip to date = 109

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