Dec 4-9 (likely dates). The pelagic possibilities at the Chatham Islands here are amazing, and we will look for the special endemic birds of the Chathams. Of course the weather determines everything on the Chathams, and our activities may be limited, but in our 6 trips so far we have done very well. The schedule for the 4 full days in the Chathams will depend on weather, but a full day will be spent on a boat trip around the islands, using a fast boat. We travel about 30 miles from Owenga via Rangatira/South East Island, Pyramid, Mangere Island, Pitt Island and return. Pyramid is the breeding site of the rare Chatham Island Shy Albatross, and we will wait offshore until dusk to see returning Fulmar Prions. Rangatira hosts Shore Plover, one of the world's rarest birds with about 200 in existence. We hope to spot Forbesís Parakeets and Black Robin at Mangere Island from the boat, as landing on their islands is not permitted. If time allows, We will land on Pitt Island and visit a predator-free bush containing Chatham Tomtit, as well as Chatham Warbler (Gerygone), Chatham Red-crowned Parakeet, Chatham Tui, and possibly Chatham Petrel. Our second scheduled boat trip will be to look for Taiko (Magenta Petrel). We will make a late afternoon trip to the Cape L'Eveque area (off The Horns) where Taiko (Magenta Petrels) return at dusk to nesting sites in the Tuku Valley. The remainder of our time will be spent on main Chatham I, where we will look for land endemics, including a visit to the Awatotara Valley for Chatham Pigeon (Parea) and the species listed for Pitt Island except Chatham Tomtit. With permisssion from the owners, Bruce and Liz Tuanui,we will visit the Sweetwater Covenant where Chatham and Magenta Petrels are currently breeding, and visit a newly-established Chatham Albatross colony nearby. The Taiko Trust oversees operations at both the latter locations.
PRICING: Chatham Islands, including air NZ-Chathams-NZ, cost to be announced and varies mostly according to boat cost; in 2013 cost was $US4000.