Lists

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
Weka
Pukeko
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
Kea
Rifleman
Bellbird
Tui
Australian Magpie
Fantail
Rook
Tomtit
New Zealand Robin
Silvereye
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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