It started with a fascination for a little brown wader which was...well, assertive, though it seemed to want to see off all the other birds on the sea shore.
This nondescript little bird turned out, on closer inspection, to be none other than the rare New Zealand dotterell.
After that, our excitement mounted with each new sighting.
Black oyster catchers.
Paradise shelduck, shouting loudly at us for daring to walk next to 'their' meadow.
The fantail, incredibly tame and friendly.
Black-backed gulls. Spur-winged plovers.
Gannets, slope-soaring in the face of a rainstorm or diving for fish, throwing up plumes of spray.
The Kereru, the Native Pigeon.
The Pukeko, a gallinule referred to as the purple swamphen.
The Kotare, the only native New Zealand kingfisher. (The other, the smart-looking kookaburra, is an Australian immigrant.)
And the lovely Australian Eastern Rosella, a parakeet with a crimson head and neck, and azure blue tail.