Had a great trip to the central North Island on the weekend to climb Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings movie) in Tongariro National Park. It’s part of one of the Great Walks, very scenic except that we struck it very windy and murky at times. Not many birds to see; chaffinch, silvereye and best of all a beautiful close view of a pipit. My bird highlight was actually on the drive home when a great flock of starlings happened to follow the line of the road and we clocked them at nearly 100km an hour as they flew above us. I forgot to check the roof of the car to see if they poop while in flight!