Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway: Terns, Shearwaters, Furseals, Gulls, Herons and more...

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Cape Pigeon/Cape Petrel.
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Dusky Dolphins.
I thought I would start this post with a few pictures for a change. The Kaikoura Walkway is an excellent platform from which to see and hear the more plentiful species (mostly seabirds) without having to swallow a box of sea-sickness pills....

Below is a photograph of the fascinating Huttons Shearwaters; they used to nest only in one area of mountains several miles inland and were vulnerable to bad weather, disturbance and vermin. The new (eye-wateringly expensive) predator-proof fence near the walkway is provided a second nesting site for them and they can now be seen from the mainland as well as by boat.

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Huttons Shearwaters.

The walkway is a little steep in places but has an excellent surface and should pose no problems to most birders of all ages; just take your time and plenty of water as it can get very hot at the top! Disabled birders should note that a fur-seal basking on the boardwalk near the car park would be a major problem however.
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New Zealand Fur Seals.
Much of the walkway is near sea-level and offers great views of the seabirds that use this part of the coast to feed and roost; visit in the early evening when most people have left and expect close-up views of many birds who will walk towards you if you sit quietly.

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These Caspian Terns may not be rare but it was thrilling to watch them fish and squabble over the catch. Both species of Oystercatcher were easily viewed from the boardwalk near Point Kean Car Park as well on both evenings.

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More adventurous hikers can descend to the beach and limestone wave-cut platforms. Armers Beach and Limestone Bay are both worth exploring; just stay away from the fur-seals....

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