New Zealand is a bird-watcher’s paradise. Whilst, you may not find the famous New Zealand kiwi right here in Anakiwa, they’re not far away and we certainly have numerous bush and sea birds to keep avid bird-watchers interested during their stay with us the Marlborough Sounds.
A recent guest Carol Mayne, was out and about exploring our bay and took some amazing bird life photos shown here.
From the native silvereye, a small songbird with a distinctive white ring around their eye, also known as the waxeye, to the long-legged waterbird, the royal spoonbill with its black spoon-shaped bill. You may even spot the protected pied shag trying to swallow a flounder in the shallow waters or hear the guttural call of a caspian tern which is often heard, before the bird is seen.
Come Spring, the dawn chorus, from the warbling tui, the notes of the bellbird that Sir Joseph Banks noted in the Queen Charlotte Sound on James Cook’s first voyage to New Zealand and the loud song of one of New Zealand’s best known birds, the fantail – is truly magical.
In our gardens and the bush, the large & lumbering kereru (native wood pigeon), the flightless weka (bush hen), sparrow-sized yellowhammers, kingfishers, californian quails and the NZ falcon, are just some of the birds to look out for. Oystercatchers, gannets, shearwaters, black swans, reef herons, little blue penguins and even the royal albatross can be seen on the waters of the Marlborough Sounds.
And if you head to the predator-free Motuara Island accessible by boat from Picton, you may get to encounter some rare & endemic bird species, such as the South Island saddleback and robin, along with the most important species on the island – the nocturnal Okarito brown kiwi. This island is used as a nursery for chicks but being nocturnal, these birds are hidden from sight to most.
Anakiwa 401 surrounded by native bush and gardens, next to the beachy foreshore, is the perfect spot to stay in the Marlborough Sounds for many activities, bird-watching being one.