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Birds

People often think a pine forest is a desolate place, but it is more full of birdlife than you might imagine.  Seasonal shore birds are a specialty of this area.
piwakawaka

Piwakawaka, Fantail

Scientific Name: Rhipidura fuliginosa
Abundant, Native
Who doesn't love this cheeky little bird.  They'll follow you along the trail enjoying the bugs that
kereru
you disturb up as you walk and ride along.

Kereru, New Zealand Pigeon

Scientific Name: Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae
Common,  Endemic  
Seen more often around the blocks of native trees, particularly Hodges Basin in Woodhill Forest Equestrian Park. 
 
Hear the Kereru's call at What Bird?
 

 Kahu, Australasian Harrier
Australian Harrier Hawk

Photo by Janet Currie, from her blog Picture Book
Scientific Name: Circus approximans
Abundant, Native
These birds are just magnificent when you see them flying in the forest.  They seem huge and some what filmic when flying amongst the trees.  

Pipiwharauroa,The Shining Cuckoo 

Shining Cuckoo - What Bird?
 
Scientific Name: Chrysococcyx lucidus
Common,  Native
 
I've only seen one of these birds in all my time in the forest.  Look carefully in the grasslands of the Muriwai Regional Park Five Mile Block trails.
 
Hear the song at What Bird?
 

Rosellas, Quail, Partridge


These imports can all be seen in the forest. You might also spot a rogue band of white Peacocks near Muriwai, and Sulfur Crested Cockatoos that come down from the Waitakeres.

kookaburra
Kookaburra

You will find a small number of Kookaburra in Woodhill Forest, they are often seen and heard around the Restall Rd carpark of Woodhill Forest Equestrian Park.
 
Sir George Grey liberated kookaburras on Kawau Island (near Auckland) in the late 19th century, and this may be the source of the current population. Introductions to other regions were unsuccessful, and their range is small – from Whāngārei to the Waitākere Ranges near Auckland. Their total New Zealand population is 500 birds or fewer. (Source Te Ara)
 
 

Magpies

Magpie - What Bird?
Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) were introduced in the 1860s and 1870s in Canterbury, Otago, Auckland (Kawau Island), Hawke’s Bay and Wellington. They came from Victoria and Tasmania.  They are plentiful in the forest, and often seen because of their striking plumage that flashes in the dappled sunlight.  Listen to Magpies on What Bird?
 

Pheasant

pheasant
 Voted bird most likely to cause your horse to spook  :D  

These quite big birds will wait until the last minute to fly almost vertically out of the undergrowth with their sharp and loud alarm call. 


Sparrows and Relatives (Passerines) 

Did you know that in the United Kingdom, the House Sparrow is nearing the endangered list?
 
yellowhammerYellowhammer
Scientific Name: Emberiza citrinella
Common,  European introduction

Yellowhammers, Sparrows (Passer domesticus), Gold Finches (Carduelis carduelis), Green Finches (Carduelis chloris), Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) , are all introduced birds that can be seen in the forest. 

Stop and have your lunch along the way and see how may of these little birds appear to share your sandwiches. Finches and sparrows do particularly well at the horse parks, as they enjoy cleaning up any spare grain!