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  • Writer's pictureRose Parsons

Birds and other wildlife of the Kenerpuru Sounds

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

We all loved our recent private boat charter with Gary and Ellen Orchard of Pelorus Tours on their lovely wooden vessel the Toroa in the Kenerpuru Sounds. Pickup was at Havelock with our destination the Waitata Accommodation where the next four nights to explore the area of the outer Marlborough Sounds.

Gary, whose family have been in the sounds for generations, shared stories of the early pioneers. This sound is less populated than the Queen Charlotte and gave us a good idea of what the early days might have been like. We visited a mussel farm to learn about how the mussels are cultivated and exported worldwide.

The marine and birdlife is good, especially in the outreaches of the sound which opens into the Cook Strait. Birdlife we encountered included, fluttering and sooty shearwaters, four species of shag including the endemic king shag found only in remote parts of the Marlborough Sounds. Australian gannets, can be seen diving in the sheltered bays. Little blue penguin are also active during the day, out and about fishing. Pied and variable oyster catchers were a common sight on the beaches, probing for cockling. We did not manage to see the beautiful and elusive reef heron but perhaps next time!

The highlight of every tour is the marine mammals when we are lucky enough to cross their path. This time we were greeted by a joyful pod of bottlenose dolphin who followed us for some time.

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