I don’t think of myself as a list-maker. I don’t have a bucket-list. It feels kind of limiting in some ways to make a list — what do you do when you run out?

Okay, I confess, I spent about three years looking for license plates from each of the 50 states, in alphabetical order. Done. But I’m not a peak-bagger climbing mountains, or someone who will drive an hour out of the way to see a waterfall. They are all different, and I’m happy to bag a peak or a waterfall or whatever happens to be around the next bend, but I don’t usually go out of my way to get complete sets.

A bird in the wild.

A bird in the wild.

So on that, here’s a list of pretty much all the bird species I have seen in New Zealand:
Still no kiwis or penguins.
California Quail
Canada Goose
Paradise Shell Duck
Blue Duck [heard the call, didn’t see them]
the rare Brown Teal Duck
Mallard Duck
Pacific Grey Duck
New Zealand Scaup
Little Shag
Black Shag
White Heron
Royal Spoonbill
Australian Harrier
South Island Takahe [but a cheat: in a cage]
Variable Oyster Catcher
South Island Pied Oyster Catcher
Banded Dotterel
Black-billed Gull
Red-billed Gull
New Zealand Pigeon
Australian Magpie
New Zealand Robin
New Zealand Pipit
Morpork Morepork Owl
Black Swan

It did not hurt to be traveling with a naturalist, even though Megan mostly studied botany. She also saw most of these. She was robbed of the Morpork when I went to see glow worms and she didn’t.

As to lists, I now have something fairly uncommon: a passport with a stamp from South Pole — the one in Antarctica. [Fine point: since the US considers Antarctica non-territorial, kind of, there isn’t passport control and immigration and all that. But there are nice stamps at the station.] It also already has a stamp from Brazil and one from Argentina. I think this would be a grand time to collect the whole set of continents. I have until August, 2016.

[Typo of “Morepork” corrected on 14 March, 2013.]


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