White Faced Heron, Stewart Island, New Zealand



First Post

This is the first of a series of posts I hope to make about the birds we see around our village of Oban (Stewart Island, New Zealand, not the Scottish Oban !!).

My name is Peter Tait, and with my wife Iris operate a homestay and nature guiding business on Stewart Island. You can learn more about Stewart Island and ourselves at our website.

White Faced Heron

The first of our birds is the White Faced Heron (Ardea novaehollandiaenovaehollandiae)

White Faced Heron, (Ardea novaehollandiae novaehollandiae)

These herons are a relatively recent self introduced species. First recorded breeding here in 1941, they are now quite common. We see them regularly within the village, feeding along the shore line or in tidal areas as above. I first saw them many years ago nesting high in pine trees on the farm I grew up on. Once nesting is finished they willfrom time to timeform large sociable groups. They are reasonably shy and for a New Zealander used to wanderingcamera in hand up to our true native species with , these herons are somewhat difficult to get close to.

Heron Feeding at Mill Creek.

Notice the leg actively stirring the bottom, hoping to disturb small fish.

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Peter Tait

Peter Tait

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.

Peter Tait

Peter Tait

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.

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Ken_Billington

Peter, very interesting article and outstanding image – great the way you’ve captured the reflection – it must have been a “windless” day – I can’t imagine getting such good reflections here on the west coast of Ireland!