Annual Winter Garden Bird Counts

Grey Warbler

Grey Warbler at Sails Ashore. We hear these far more often than we see them

Each year Iris does a count of the birds in our garden over a 1 hour period. This “snapshot” is part of a national survey by Landcare Research, Forest & Bird Society, The Ornithological Society & Fairfax Media.

Birds Recorded from Sails Ashore:-

Silver Eyes feeding

Silvereyes feeding at our Bird Table. These self introduced out of Australia around 100 years ago, and are now very numerous

Bellbird                             …. 1
Dunnock                           …. 2
Grey Warbler                  …. 2
Silvereye                          …. 2
Blackbird                          …. 3
Chaffinch                          …. 10
Native Pigeon                  …. 1
Kaka                                  …. 1
Black Backed Gull           …. 4
Red Crowned Parakeet  …. 4
Song Thrush                    …. 1
Starling                             …. 4
Tui                                     …. 3
Variable Oystercatcher  …. 1


Birds Recorded from Kowhai Lane:-

Weka at Kowhai Lane

Resident Weka on the lawn at Kowhai Lane

Bellbird                             …. 1
Dunnock                           …. 2
Grey Warbler                  …. 2
Silvereye                          …. 2
Blackbird                          …. 1
Chaffinch                          …. 19
House Sparrow                …. 2
Kaka                                  …. 3
Grey Duck                        …. 1
Red Crowned Parakeet  …. 1

However in addition we regularly see FantailWeka, Red Poll, Yellow Hammer, and Australasian Harrier, hear CuckooMorepork and twice in the last couple of nights…. Kiwi.

Kiwi around the Village

When I first arrived on Stewart Island in 1969, Kiwi were unknown around the village, and the closest birds were in the Christmas Village area, several miles up the north coast. But now they are regularly seen within the village and on the roads, and guests have several times seen them on Trail Park in the evening, as well as on some of the local walking trails.
The birds we heard recently… male & female were quite close, probably no more than  100 metres distant. The first evening was at 0100, and the second around 0600.

Little Blue Penguins

Little Blue Penguins

Little Blue Penguins at the Halfmoon Bay Wharf. Several pair nest in the bank at the wharf entrance, and can be seem most evenings from September until early January

And  a few days ago on Ulva with 2 New Zealand couples we found several Blue Penguin tracks on Sydney Cove beach. These birds had over-nighted ashore and are the first of the season investigating nesting sites for the coming breeding season.

Fuchsia in Flower

Fuchsia start to show blossom around the middle of July, and we are starting to see Tui investigating the new nectar source.

Fuchsia Blossom

Native Fuchsia Blossom. These appear before the new seasons leaves, and the tree will flower until mid summer

Iris puts out sugar water and seed for our birds, but this year most really haven’t been all that interested. Kaka of course are great pan-handlers and are regular visitors, but Tui have been only occasionally, and bellbirds hardly ever. Even the Silvereyes don’t seem particularly interested.

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

Sails Ashore


64 3 219 1151
0800 783 9278