I’ve just returned from a few days doing bird counts on Little Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf. What a dramatic place. The summit is over 700m, a steep climb from the rugged coast through continually changing vegetation. The bird count results were interesting – kind of a reversal from what you find on the mainland. The “common” introduced birds of the mainland became rarities on the island. I saw sparrows, mynas, finches, blackbird and thrush but only one or two of each. No silvereyes. But in their place were kiwi, kokako, stitchbird, and everywhere bellbirds, tui, pigeon, kakariki and saddlebacks. At night we went out with torches to spot kiwi but my best encounter was with a young kiwi, perhaps a few months old, that I saw in daylight. It was feeding frantically on mostly small worms and seemed oblivious to my presence. The link below will take you to see him feeding.