Visiting Ulva Island with Guests

(At Sails Ashore we package a 4 hour Guided Ulva Island Tour for our guests. Ulva Island Open Sanctuary is a “Must Do” for visitors to Stewart Island. Many years ago I was Ranger in Charge for all of Stewart Island. For a brief introduction to this very special Island please follow this Link )

Looking south from Boulder Beach on a perfect day

Looking south from Boulder Beach on a perfect spring day

Yesterday I took two couples across to Ulva…. a stunning day ….. we all found it difficult to leave, with the normal 4 hours ended up being 6.

Oystercatcher Pair on Boulder Beach

Oystercatcher Pair on Boulder Beach

Over on Boulder Beach the resident Black Oystercatchers were busy in the tide, but no sign yet of nest building. One of the party queried me, as he couldn’t find “Black Oystercatcher” in his birding book. I had to clarify that while really we should call them “Variable” Oystercatchers,  as we NEVER see them in  variable plumage we think should be allowed to call them Black !!

Forest Birds

Except for  Robins the birds in general were not particularly numerous. And although we heard but didn’t see  Yellowhead ….. we saw everything else on the guests “wanna see” list. Although I admit to wondering if we would find a Saddleback. We didn’t even hear one until just before departing when one called and then flew off. But we did find it shortly afterwards, which made the day for one of the couples as it was their 4th attempt to see these iconic birds.

Spring Blooms

But our guests were very taken with the spring flowers. New Zealand isn’t particularly colourful in the flower department, so many blooms being white or green, but the slide show following is just some of what we saw both on Ulva and around the village.

This early in the orchid season we only found 4 out, disappointing for our German couple, who were particularly knowledgeable about NZ orchids. but with lots of plants coming through the ground I suspect we’ll have a very good years display. They did promise to return

All in all a very successful and enjoyable day in the best office in the world.

ps …..   As I finished typing this Iris walked in with a new publication celebrating Ulva Island Titled Ulva Island (what else ??) , A visitors guide and by Ulva Goodwillie

It details the entire Ulva Island story… history, flora and fauna, conservation and visitor track guide.

I will be reading it tonight.

Ulva guides on Ulva….. her mother must have known something when deciding her name….  and her family have lived around Stewart Island and Foveaux Straits forever, with one ancestor being a “gone ashore” sealer, who married into the local Maori community.

Ulva Island… ISBN : 978-0-908629-75-6

Sails Ashore

…. Peter & Iris, Sails Ashore
11 View St,
Stewart Island,

64 3 219 1151
0800 783 9278