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Local Birdwatchers

Using the Birdingpal resources you must agree to the following: If you contact a local Birdingpal and make arrangement to go birding, you should note it is common courtesy to make sure you show up for the appointment. If for any reason you are unable to do this, the least you must do is contacting the local Pal right away.
Please note that most Birdingpals are serious birdwatchers. It is a privilege to contact them, and your message should reflect it. A local Pal does not get paid, but should he/she offer to take you out birding, using their own vehicle, it would be courteous to pay for the fuel. A lunch and/or a small gift would also be appropriate, something as simple as a souvenir of your country, or a pin from your local birding club.
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Initial Last Name Area Available Language

D Hadden Queensland, Atherton Tableland, Australia & Nelson, South Island, New Zealand May until October in Australia and rest in New Zealand. English

I am a retired teacher now in my 70s but interested in birds since childhood and have been photographing birds for 60 years. From about May until October we live in Australia and during the rest of the year in NZ. Our Area. We have 2 areas we can show you. In Australia we live near Malanda in the middle of a block of tropical rainforest and in New Zealand we live near Nelson at the top of the South Island. Near Nelson there are areas of native bush with tomtits, rifleman, etc and coastal scrub areas with fernbird.

There is a sandspit with double-banded plover and migratory waders in winter plumage.

In Australia, Malanda is on the Atherton Tableland with numerous birding hotspots. In the forest around my house is Grey-headed Robin, Bower’s Shrikethrush, Bridled Honeyeater, Spotted Catbird, and a Bird of Paradise species the Victoria’s Riflebird.
Nature: birdwatching, photography

B Snook Whangaparaoa, Auckland English
I am a story teller and local volunteer guide fringe 2005 Area:
Tiritiri Mstangi Island ,Shskespear regional park, Miranda, Tawharanui

Area Birds:
New Zealand natives and endemics ,migrants, exotics ,introduced
Nature: birdwatching, twitching, photography, swimming, beach, car, long walk, tourist site, museum, theatre

H Boorman Auckland, Auckland Weekends English
I have recently moved from the UK and am still discovering NZ for myself to some extent. I am a early 30's international birder with a lift list of 1800 but now a NZ lister and also a volunteer guide on Tiri Tiri Martangi.

I know a few local hotspots within a few hours drive of Auckland where I can help you find NIB Kiwi, NZ Dotterel and Wrybill and am also up for the odd weekender to look for some birds I haven't got round to seeing yet further afield. I share a car so can only drive on request.
Nearby Auckland reserves which vary depending on time of year

Area Birds:
North Island Brown Kiwi, Wrybill, NZ Dotterel and Kaka
Nature: birdwatching, twitching, wildlife photography


  N Allen Christchurch, Canterbury Weekend English, Korean
  I came to the Christchurch area in 1997 from the UK, being interested in birds off and on (mostly on) since I was five. Was Canterbury regional rep of the Ornithological Society of NZ for 7 years from 1999 and currently edit that Society's quarterly magazine, Southern Bird. The recent arrival of my and my partner's (Hyeza) first child has slowed down travel and birdwatching, but prior to that I covered all the easily accessible corners of the South Island and Stewart Island, and good chunks of the North Island as well, birding as I went.

I class myself as a generalist amateur ornithologist/birder not concentrating on any particular group of birds or habitat, and enjoying both fieldwork (e.g. bird counts and atlas work) and just the birds themselves. I'd struggle to choose a favourite species, but Eastern Curlews are pretty neat birds and hearing a call that surely came from the supposedly extinct South Island Kokako a few years ago was a stop-in-the-tracks jaw-dropping experience that I'd like to repeat some time - preferably with a sighting and photo to go with it!

Birding in the Christchurch area affords a good mixture of shore, wetland and forest birds. The city is often bypassed by foreign birders, who perhaps lump it with the rather birdless and highly altered Canterbury Plains to the north and west. However, areas of the original swamp on which the city was founded are still present, or have been re-created, making possible very close views of species such as New Zealand Scaup, Grey Teal and Australasian Shoveler.

The estuarine eastern fringe has good numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits, Pied and Variable Oystercatchers, shags/cormorants, Royal Spoonbills and gulls/terns. Nearby bush on Banks Peninsula rings to the songs of Bellbirds, the whooshing of New Zealand Pigeon wings, and Tomtits are making a comeback in places.

Further to the east around Akaroa these latter bush species can be seen in greater numbers, with the addition of Brown Creeper and Rifleman.

The huge wetland that is Lake Ellesmere is close by to the city with thousands of wildfowl, especially Black Swan and Grey Teal; large flocks of Banded Dotterels, Pied Stilts and Wrybills at certain times of the year; and records of many nationally rare waders (the first NZ records of Painted Snipe, Little Stint, Long-toed Stint and Stilt Sandpiper were from here).

Just over two hours to the west is Arthur's Pass National Park with its New Zealand Robins, Yellow-crowned Parakeets, Great Spotted Kiwis and an almost complete range of other forest birds, as well as Kea, Rock Wren and other alpine species.

Two and a half hours to the north is the seabird heaven of Kaikoura and a huge range of albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters.
South Island and Stewart Island, and good chunks of the North Island, Banks Peninsula,Akaroa,Lake Ellesmere, Arthur's Pass National Park, Kaikoura

Area Birds:
Eastern Curlews, New Zealand Scaup, Grey Teal and Australasian Shoveler, Bar-tailed Godwits, Pied and Variable Oystercatchers, shags/cormorants, Royal Spoonbills, gulls/terns, Bellbirds, New Zealand Pigeons, Tomtits, Brown Creeper, Rifleman, Black Swan, Grey Teal, Banded Dotterels, Pied Stilts, Wrybills, Painted Snipe, Little Stint, Long-toed Stint, Stilt Sandpiper, New Zealand Robins, Yellow-crowned Parakeets, Great Spotted Kiwis, Kea, Rock Wren, albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters

Nature in general, spectacular scenery, history, industrial archaeology, good (but not expensive) food and drink.

A Colley Christchurch, Papanui Anytime English
R Hurt Shearalea, Rolleston Anytime English
N Olliver Greytown, Wairarapa Anytime Spanish, English


  D.C. Watson Wellington, Wellington Weekend English
  My wife and I live in Wellington and enjoy taking BirdingPals to the local birding hotspots in the Wellington area. I am familiar with the best birding areas in the lower North Island and happy to provide advice to visitors. Area:
Local hotspots include Zealandia in Wellington city, Pauatahanui harbour, and further afield to Waikanae and Foxton (Manawatu Estuary).

Area Birds:
Zealandia has many of the rare native species including Saddleback, Stitchbird, Takahe, Kaka, Red-Crowned Parakeet, Robin, Whitehead. There are Fernbird at Pauatahanui and Waikanae and Wrybill at Foxton.

Nature: birdwatching, twitching, photography, hiking
Travel: train, car, biking, long walk
Visit: tourist site, museum, restaurant, outdoors, nature spot, lake
Attend: concert, theatre, live music, sports event

Professional Guides

If you contact a professional Birdingpal guide you must be prepared to pay a fee for guiding services.

Initial Last Name Area Available Language

Local Information
Service Information
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia New Zealand
Local weather Yahoo
Ornithological Society of New Zealand Club
New Zealand Ecological Society Club
Narena Olliver's New Zealand Birds
Ocean Wings Pelagic
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch Site
The Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head Otago Peninsula
Birding Hotspots around the world Sites