Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island
Having given my friends boat a run the other day, I had a fit of conscienceand thought I had better do the same for ours. Winter time doesn’t see much in the way of guided walks for me, so the boat doesnt get much running. And if you have ever had much to do with boats they do seem to need a regular run.
So off we went into Paterson Inlet. Beautifully calm, with odd patches of mist. A real busmans holiday I suppose, but also a chance to see what was about.
Lots of Blue Penguins, mostly in rafts of socialising birds. . This time of year they are seriously into nest preparation, and courtship of course.
I called in on an old Blue Shag nesting site, but nothing. I’ve noticed that these… our smallest shag…. will nest for several years in an area and then all will up sticks and relocate. So when that happens it’s a big search until I find their new dormitory.
Across at the Bravo Islands a small pod of Bottle Nosed Dolphins came to investigate and played around the boat for a few minutes.
Pied Shag Rookery
Back to Ulva Island and a large Pied Shag rookery in a big old Rata tree overhanging a small inlet. Pied shags are tree nesters, and when they move into an area it’s the kiss of death for the roost trees, and everything below. Their droppings are enormously corrosive and nothing seems to survive it. The nests are just big loose structures made of sticks and occasionally kelp. They look as if a good shake would collapse them, but they are immune to our storms. So must be more too them than meets the eye. They appear to mate right through the year as nests will have young all seasons, and other birds appear to be brooding as well.
Pied Shag Calls. The softer calls are juveniles in the nest.
Blue (Spotted) Shags
Round into Sydney Cove and Goat Island off the north side of Ulva and I found a small Blue Shag colony. Blue Shags are my favorite, mainly I suppose because when I was fishing there were several birds who would come when called while I was cleaning the catch outside Halfmoon Bay. They were very fussy, only eating small filets… no offal thank you very much….. and would take their fillets direct from my hand. They would literally wriggle with excitement when they saw the food in my hand.
[flowplayer src=’http://focusingonwildlife.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/dolphin.mp4′ width=640 height=480 splashend=show splash=’http://focusingonwildlife.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/DOLPHI3.jpg’ autoplay=false]
Returning back across the Inlet the dolphin pod found us again, and escorted me right to the mooring, and then played around the inflatable as I went ashore.
All in all a very relaxing and enjoyable day.
Share on social media:
You may also like:
Peter Tait is a professional nature guide based at Stewart Island, New Zealand, and he works primarily on Ulva Island Open Sanctuary. Peter has been resident on the Island for over 40 years and was one time Forest Ranger in Charge of Stewart Island. Fishing followed forestry and was in turn followed by Talisker, a 17m charter yacht. He is qualified Skipper Deep Sea Fishing Vessel. In addition to guiding Peter and his wife Iris are hosts at Sails Ashore Lodge.
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [2513 Views]
- POLL: Should Japan’s “research whaling” program be closed down? [1958 Views]
- POLL: Should buzzards be killed to protect pheasants? [1430 Views]
- Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [1366 Views]
- POLL: Should Norway’s plan to cull its wolves be abandoned? [1243 Views]
- Rare desert lions of ‘five musketeers’ fame poisoned [1241 Views]
- The biologist terrifying the US Forest Service, timber and forest fire-fighting industries [1191 Views]
- POLL: Should Japan’s killing of dolphins and whales be stopped? [959 Views]
- POLL: Should the badger cull in the UK be extended? [903 Views]
- POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on the ivory trade? [828 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [41861 Views]
- POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16576 Views]
- POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [14686 Views]
- POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [13391 Views]
- POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11073 Views]
- POLL: Should hare coursing be banned in Ireland? [10031 Views]
- POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8411 Views]
- POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8273 Views]
- Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [8088 Views]
- POLL: Should black bears be killed for Royal Guards’ fur caps? [8005 Views]