Birdwatching or birding is a form of wildlife observation in which the observation of birds is a recreational activity. It can be done with the naked eye, through a visual enhancement device like binoculars and telescopes, or by listening for bird sounds.
The bst time is during the dry season. June may also be a good option with fewer tourists and lower rates.
The dry season last from Dec. until April/May. Anyway this is one of the wettest regions in the world with 7 liters of rain each year. The climate is humid tropical. The driest month is March and the wettest is August.
The gannets start nesting in August and stay latest until April when the chicks are fledging. Muriwai is one of only three mainland gannet colonies. This bird sanctuary is easily accessible, and you get relatively close to the birds which make Muriwai unique. More than a thousand pairs of gannets nest at Muriwai each year.
Getting there is easy: It's just a forty minutes drive from Auckland to Muriwai. From the car park leads a short walking track to the main gannet colony and a viewing platform.
Hidden Gem Tour | From Auckland: The gannet colonny was a must-do for us! When staying in Auckland, we suggest to book a hidden gem: The Vineyards, Honey, & Black Sand Beaches of Muriwai Tour from Auckland. These guys are amazing and so knowledgable! You visit Muriwai Beach with its gannets as well as a private wine and honey tasting tour. Plus, it's extremely comfortable, as you get picked-up at your hotel in Auckland.
5 Highlights and Must-Know Tips
- The mating rituals are spectacular to observe and occur at the beginning of the nesting season
- The breeding population reaches the peak in November
- In summer, around December to February, you can watch how the chicks get fed
- In March/April, the juveniles leave the nest
- Late autumn and beginning of winter, from May until July, most of the gannets migrate to Australia
The popular Muriwai Beach is patrolled during summer. Swimming between the flags is allowed
The summer is peak season. From December to March weekends are more crowded due to beach visitors and surfers. There is limited parking! Therefore, visit the colony either early in the morning or late afternoon if you visit on weekends. Mid-week and spring are less busy. It's also usually more crowded on sunny days. On the other hand there are very few visitors during cold, rough days.
Warmest months are in the summer from December until March often with pleasant temperatures around 20 °C at daytime and 10-12°C in the night. The coldest months are in the winter from June to August, but it's not freezing. Most precipitation occurs in winter but it already starts in May with the peak in July. Driest months are during the summer from November to February/March. The best months for swimming at Muriwai Beach are January until March, but the sea temperature is still lower than 20 °C.
Tip: Be prepared for the windswept coastline and bring a warm jacket. If you are downwind, you experience the penetrating smell of gannet poo.
The breeding season is from November to July. Nesting time is the 'only' time they spend on land which is roughly 290 days each year. The hike is eroded. Be careful when hiking along the trail. Carry enough water; it's often pretty sunny and hot without any shelter.
The drier season is from May until October. The north and east coast get more rain than south and west which is the leeward side. Even in winter, in the 'rainy' season from November to March you don't have to worry: Mostly showers are short and the sun returns quickly to the western part.
Low season in spring between mid-April and mid-June as well as in fall from September to November. Busier during the "Golden Week" in Japan end of April until the beginning of May. Busy and increasing rates in summer, during Christmas, New Year's Eve and on Independence Day.
To spot the oilbirds a guide is necessary to find the muddy trail to the Cumaca Cave. It depends on the water level if you can walk into the cave. The oilbirds are nocturnal, and at daytime, they rest in the cave.
Dry Season - Weather
Best months for Trinidad and the hike to the cave are January to May and September. Rain can always occur in Trinidad. The trail to the cave can be muddy even in the dry season but worth to do. During the rainy season, the water level of the Oropouche River can be too high for safe walking.
Helgoland is a fantastic year-round destination with stunning wildlife to view. However, there are some very special months:
During the bird migrations in spring and fall it turns into a birdwatcher’s paradise with an average of 250 bird species. Mid-June until early-July for about 2 weeks: The event is amazing and called ‘Lumensprung’. In the late afternoon the adult guillemot are attracting their youngsters to jump into the ocean from a 40m+ height. The exact time in June can be predicted each year from April on. November/December until January: Horsehead Seals give birth to their young, which is just spectacular: Heligoland Seals
Stay past 4 PM / overnight. Even during summer it thins out after 4 PM as the crowds of daytime visitors are gone. This way you can experience the real magic of this beautiful island. Stay at least 2-3 days and book a hotel or a B&B.
The weather is influenced by the Gulf Stream. Bright, not too hot summers and mild winters. In November/December it’s actually the warmest place in Germany. However, in some winters there is even a chance of snow. The quieter months in terms of tourist crowds are November/December until April.
For raptor migration viewing, visit in autumn. Each fall, 18,000 hawks, eagles, and falcons pass Hawk Mountain.
Peak migration times http://www.hawkmountain.org/rapt...
For general enjoyment of mountain views & trails, visit mid-week during your preferred season for hiking. Use caution at overlooks year-round but especially in icy conditions.