• Kay

Day 94 Still on Kapiti Island 

Saturday 11 January Kapiti Island I had a brainwave this morning. After finding there was minimal accommodation available for tonight in Paraparaumu and with the prospect of having to take a late bus to Levin and spending at least a day there waiting for the weather window on the Tararua Ranges, I asked if I could stay here on Kapiti Island. I have seriously got to be the luckiest person at the moment. They have a cabin available which is usually used by staff, but it is free tonight. So here I am, about to have another kiwi tour.

Thirsty kākā

I have spent today exploring the northern end of the island, and basically relaxing and bird watching, taking all the sweet time in the world. Kākā, weka and kererū were the main species today. There are so many kererū and they are all so incredibly fat. The kākā upheld their reputation of being cheeky thieves, stealing biscuits out of the hands of two children. The selected their targets carefully. There were a number of adults also sitting outside with food, but the kākā only chose the smallest and most vulnerable.

Posing for the camera

12.30am Another amazing night Kiwi watching. It didn't start out so well though. Last night the group I was with included three children. The adults and children understood we needed to be very quiet, not talk, walk softly, not use torches and take care of rustling clothes and the like. Tonight's group of all adults didn't read that memo so well. One woman in particular was atrocious, asking loud obnoxious questions, flashing her torch around, flicking it to strobe light at times and generally making Kiwi spotting impossible. Alcohol was a factor in her less than ideal behavior. Eventually, out of frustration the guide took her back to the cabin then carried on without her. Unfortunately there were others in the group that couldn't get the hang of walking in the dark quietly, with one guy falling over. So, with the exception of one fleeting glance, no Kiwi were seen on the tour. We did however see a little Blue Penguin waddling around. It is the nesting season and Vicki said it was likely on the way back to its nest to feed its chicks. So that was a bonus. The group dispersed and went to their respective cabins. I borrowed the red torch from Vicki again, waited until nearly everyone was settled in their cabins and went out again to the same area I was in the night before. It was only about 20m from my cabin. I only had to wait quietly for about 5 minutes and my pair of Kiwi from last night reappeared. There were two women still out keen to see Kiwi so I showed them and together we watched them feeding and dashing right in front of us across the brightly moon lit path. I have spent about another hour and a half sitting in the bush alone, watching them. Again they just ignored me, or more likely didn't know I was there. In the end it was me that was too tired and I left them to get on with things and have come to bed. Magic. Without a doubt, I could live here.

Northern end of Kapiti Island

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