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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

A visit to the Royal Albatross

 7th February

Last night we booked the Interislander ferry back to the North Island. Sailing date is the 23rd February. A decision had to be made, there are cousins to visit in Wellington and still more sights to see which we missed on our way to the South Island.

Leaving Toko Mouth this morning the dirt road continued toward Milton.A strange pink spray was seen on some plants including the Pampas grasses. Was it a form of weed killer? For mile upon mile this was seen, I don't suppose we will ever know unless someone can shed light on it.

 Today we made for Dunedin. In particular the Royal Albatross centre at Harington Point. Stopping a few times to stretch our legs on the spectacular beaches, on one of them gulls were seen gorging themselves on tiny creatures washed up with the waves. I was fascinated to find out what it was. Not a clue though, never seen anything like it but I suspect it could be Krill.

The road we decided on to take us to the Albatross centre took us along the Otago Peninsular but the inland route instead of coastal. Up hill and down dale and right up into the clouds at one point, gosh that was a struggle for the Toy. I thought the climb would never end. We eventually turned onto the coast road, a lovely drive by Otago Harbour.

The school children have now returned to school, so we didn't think about booking a tour to watch the Royal Albatross. We got lucky as the three thirty tour only had three other people booked on it. A small group is usually taken, up to twelve I believe so to have the hide almost to ourselves was a bonus. The view looking over the nest site was fabulous. Huge windows so you could see every part and yes they are apparently cleaned every day. I did ask that question! So lots of photos...again.

There is a chick under her.

 On the way out of the hide this full size cutout of the Royal Albatross was on the wall. Its a massive bird with wingspan of nearly 3 metres!

As we left the centre so the heavens opened. It has also turned chilly. About 15 degrees today, far cry from the 36 we had a few days ago. Me thinks I will need an extra blanket tonight.

And wildlife


Mary said...

You may ve surprised to learn that Pampas grows in many shades of Pink. February is peak season and it looks quite spectacular. It is however classed as a weed. NZ has the Native Toitoi which is very similar but only creamy white and flowers in December.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks, Mary. That pink was not just the Pampas but some of the smaller plants as well. Even the trees had pink on the leaves and bark which made me think it was a spray of some sort. xx

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Love your bird photos, Irene.

Aren't the albatross magnificent?

Looking forward to seeing you soon. How about you come up here to us when you get off the ferry?


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