Conservationist or hunter. Is there such a difference?   

 In order to harvest the bounty of the sea we must ensure not only the survival of the eco-system that is the oceans but their proliferation. The removal of one small species can change the balance of nature, we must take responsibility for our actions and ensure no species is lost through any action or inaction on our part.

Capt Bert Lee, Email: bert@charterfishing.co.nz

SEA BIRD PROFILES                         SEA BIRD REPORTS

Enjoy with me some of the more uncommon sights around Tolaga Bay


NZ Fur seal

 This New Zealand fur seal was feeding about 5 miles offshore in 70 m of water it was diving to the bottom and bringing up blind eels. It would shake the slime of them by flicking them from side to side and throwing them in the air before eating them. In the last couple of years the number of these seals has increased greatly in this area, before that it was rare to see one, now there are groups of 30 or more on some of the small islands in winter.


Minke whale
MINKE WHALE

 This whale which was about 8m in length circled the boat for about an hour while we were anchored fishing. It often lifted it's eye out of the water and looked at us from a distance of less the two meters
.



elephant seal

 A young bull Elephant Seal which spent several weeks around Tolaga Bay    in December 99-January 2000. It was friendly to people but had an aversion to boats, it flopped on top of one which was pulled up on the beach breaking the windscreen, cabin and seats.
How would you explain that to your insurance company?

 long-billed curlew

 long-billed curlew on the mud-flats of the Uawa River Tolaga Bay, a very occasional visitor



Fiordland crested penguin

 I took this photo several years ago north of Tokomaru Bay, I believe it is an Erect crested penguin.


White Black oystercatcher

 White Black oystercatcher on the golf course at Tolaga Bay. There are two of these birds around Tolaga each with a different flock of Black oystercatchers.

 The East Cape is not only a top fishing spot but a great place to observe a wide range of sea birds. An Israeli ornithologist I took out counted 22 species of petrel, shearwater and albatross in one day. As a fisherman of many years experience I have come to know and enjoy the birds of the sea. The bird-life here changes with the seasons as different species migrate following their prefered temperature range. Over the next months I will update this page with observations and photos of the ever-changing birdlife. If you have an interest  in sea-birds I would like to hear from you and hopefully one day take you out and show you the rich diversity we have here.

Tolaga Bay Pelagic birds April 2005

Early in the month there were quite a number of very hungry wilsons storm petrels around. It is unusual to see many in a day and only when they are passing on their migration south in spring and back north in autumn. It is also unusual for them to approach the boat and stay close but this season I was seeing up to 5 birds a day and some were coming within a few feet of the boat picking up small scraps from the surface.
The summer birds are in the process of moving on but as yet the winter birds have not started to arrive. Water is still 18c but is dropping with the series of southerly winds we have been getting. The most prominent birds recently are bullers mollys, I counted 15 sitting behind the boat one day last week along with several flesh-footed shearwaters a couple of black petrels a black-browed molly and a wandering albatross. All this on a day when I read in the local paper that these birds are on the brink of extinction and that wanderers have a four metre wing span.. It would be nice if those who write that stuff could occasionally get out of their office and actually see the birds they write about, but then I guess that experience and some real knowledge would get in the way of a good sensational story.
Over the next month the remainder of the summer birds will move on and slowly be replaced by cape pigeons, prions and grey faced petrels, sooty shearwaters will go past on their migration and so on to the colder winter weather.

Bert Lee
Tolaga Bay East Cape Charters
Email:
bert@charterfishing.co.nz

SEA BIRD PROFILES

WANDERING ALBATROSS

GREY-HEADED MOLLYMAWK

BULLERS MOLLYMAWK

SHY MOLLYMAWK

YELLOW-NOSED MOLLYMAWK

GREY PETREL

CAPE PIGEON

HUTTONS SHEARWATER

GIANT PETREL

COOKS PETREL

WILSONS STORM PETREL

PRION

SOUTH POLAR SKUA

POMARINE SKUA

ROYAL ALBATROSS    

 BLACK-BROWED MOLLYMAWK

GREY-BACKED MOLLYMAWK

FLESH FOOTED SHEARWATER

SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER

BULLERS SHEARWATER

BLACK PETREL

SOOTY SHEARWATER

GREY-FACED PETREL

WHITE-FACED STORM PETREL

LIGHT-MANTLED SOTTY ALBATROSS

ARCTIC SKUA

SOUTHERN SKUA

WHITE NAPED PETREL

WHITE-CHINNED PETREL

Surface long lines in NZ


Sea-bird & eco links

http://www.knapdale.co.nz/

http://www.wrybill-tours.com/

http://www.zip.com.au/~palliser/         

 http://www.nzbirds.com/index.html#HOM

 http://www.seafriends.org.nz/             

http://www.forest-bird.org.nz/index.asp

 http://www.naturespace.co.nz/            

 http://www.envirowatch.org/

 http://www.oceanwings.co.nz/ 
   

                            HOME                            

[ About | Services | Contact | What Fish? | Local Weather | Fish Links | Clubs ] reports ] salt water fly ]

Tag & release ] Recent catches ] Where ] trout ]