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April 7 2020



Have you noticed this too? More birds about in the basin. In our isolation bubble we’ve all become birdwatchers and have noticed a rise in birdlife about. Is it to do with less noise from planes and cars? Maybe they’ve come back in numbers due to the fewer people about?


Whatever the cause, there have been a number of sightings of rare feathered beauties popping up. James Allan, photographer, admired a Hihi around Fernhill. He captured the special moment with his eyes. Hihi’s are known as a Stitchbird, and they are nationally vulnerable.

Over in Kelvin Heights, there’s been a sighting of a Black Morph Piwakawaka.

Little messengers from the underworld. The common fantail has mixed colours but it’s not often you see a fully black fantail.


Neill Simpson, Chairman of the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust says he’s certainly noticed an increase of birdlife to the area.

“We’ve had several Tuis (incidentally nested and produced young TWICE this season), bellbirds, regular fantail, silvereye, and grey warbler visits. And it is so quiet these days, no aircraft, no vehicles that the birds sound is louder. I believe that all the wonderful people servicing the trap lines around the district has helped enormously in allowing our native birds to raise their young. The present, quieter conditions, allows us to hear them better and take notice of them. If we continue on the path of plant native trees around the district, eventually native habitat will return which means more native birds will sing to us.”