South Island Trip - Part 6 - On the road

Day two of my South Island trip was going to be pretty straight forward, driving to Christchurch from Picton and hopefully stop at a couple of interesting places along the way. Well, we definitely stopped at some interesting places including a random paddock with a bunch of Welcome Swallows, but the most being along the Kaikoura coast! When driving along we spotted a couple of seals sprawled out along the coastlines, so we decided to pull over and have a look, there were so many more than we initially though, and we ended up staying for quite a while just watching them.

Seeing the seals was such a bonus, also the new coastlines were really interesting (new because of the massive earthquake a few years ago some areas of the sea floor were lifted around a metre). Another little bonus was seeing a Pipit and also a Yellowhammer (not native but quite a good looking bird). One really ambitious goal I had for this trip was to see a Black Stilt, Kaki, I had heard that there was one that could be found at the Ashley River/Estuary. So I did some research and asking around, got some detailed directions and confined Hannah we should try to spot it. The drive south took longer than we thought, and we arrived at the Estuary with the sun setting, but tried nonetheless. We walked around a little bit, past a few ducks and gulls, then we saw the silhouette of a stilt, there she was! We were pretty excited to see her and although only got pretty bad dark photos of her, knew that atleast we had seen a rare Kaki in the wild. We thought we’d try again the following day a bit earlier and hopefully get some better photos…. those coming soon….