27 February 2013
What an amazing summer. Warm water due to the calm hot days here in Marlborough Sounds has brought lots of wildlife.
Water temperatures have got up to 18.5 degrees which has provided a bloom of Krill and lots of other small species that make the base of the food chain. It is incredible to see the water thick and alive with new sea life. Our sea birds and marine mammals have been taking great enjoyment in reducing these numbers by turning up in droves to feed on the smaller animals and the displays have been breath taking. The calm sheltered waters make it a wildlife watchers dream.
The Orca families have been in more than most seasons with pods moving through chasing the stingrays and putting on some incredible feeding displays. Bottle nose dolphin has been here in pods up to 70 and our resident hectors dolphins have had a great year for breeding. Lots of new hectors this year which seems to confirm our observations that here we have an increasing local hector population are correct.
The incredibly friendly bottle nose dolphin have given us some superb swimming interactions with a lot of swims in water by the shore of less than 10 feet deep and 60 dolphins around you. Here being surrounded by 1600km of coastline the interactions are often in water you can stand up. The back drop for your swims is being surrounded by beautiful bush covered hills. Swimming with dolphins here is a truly magical and unforgettable experience that will take your breath away.
Sea birds abound and on shore the cicada (local insect) has been a great food source for the land based birds with fantastic sightings on Motuara island. NZ falcons, South island saddle backs, Bell Birds , bush Robins , Tui , Wood pigeons all are looking very happy as the local food sources are very plentiful . We have also been working a lot with project Nest egg ( DOC ) and taking NZ rarest Kiwi ; the Rowi Kiwi to and from the 2 islands they inhabit. Giving grateful birding enthusiasts and NZ locals a one on one view up close .The DOC personal are with us transporting the species and are happy to answer questions and allow to this special species during daylight hours. We are honored to be able to provide access to this rare and special bird and be and active component of the successful Kiwi breeding program in NZ.
Lots of King Shags ( rarest sea bird , seeing up to 27 at a time) , fluttering sear waters and some sooty , a rare Royal Albatross , Artic Skua , Australasian Gannets, White fronted turns, al the sea birds giving a great show as the juvenile fish and smaller species which are there food source have been prolific.
Project Jonah ( NZ voluntary organization for whale saving ) have also been out on the water with us and great to be able to actively support another worthwhile cause. www.projectjonah.org.nz.
So the incredible Conservation and wildlife area that makes up the Queen Charlotte sound just gets better and better yearly , come and see our bird sanctuary , dolphins , sea birds and enjoy our knowledge team whom specialize in small groups and a quality friendly experience.
Catch up with you next month......