Welcome to Stewart Island & Sails Ashore +64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz

Black Oystercatcher   …. (Variable Oystercatcher)


Haematopus unicolor

We never see the white speckled belly of the Variable Oystercatcher on Stewart Island as these become more common the further North you go. So we think we can call them “Black Oystercatchers). Most beaches will have a resident pair who “own” the beach and who are long term bonded. They will often “re-bond” with quite elaborate displays when one bird returns to the other,  And who will often see off other birds quite aggressively. Nesting is in late November/early December often alarmingly close to the upper spring tide line. Clutches of 1 or 2 and very occasionally a third “insurance egg” will hatch around 26 days later. The Insurance chick will never survive if it’s siblings do. The parents totally unable to support 3, especially when the third will be 4 or 5 days younger.

Size 480 mm

Black Oystercatcher

Black Oystercatcher

Nest just above spring tide level with an unusual 3 egg clutch

Black Oystercatcher

Perfect camouflage at 4 days hatched

Black Oystercatcher

One parent will always be on guard against Weka and Black Backed Gulls

Black Oystercatcher

Juvenile fully fledged, but still dependent on the parents

Black Oystercatcher Calls

Stewart Island Electricity is generated using diesel fuel

Sails Ashore is Solar Powered

 But we now produce 100 % of our electrical needs, and are completely "Off Grid", Excess electricity is used to heat our domestic hot water and central heating system and this has cut our non renewable heating fuel usage to around 20% of pre solar.. All cooking is electric, no more LPG.  See More .......

Kowhai Lane is also Solar powered,

Kowhai Lane is "Grid Tied" Excess production is used to heat water. Production beyond the house requirements is exported, thus cutting diesel use in the wider grid. At night Kowhai Lane Lodge receives power from the grid.

Like Sails Ashore, all cooking is electric,,,,, No LPG



Sails Ashore, Kowhai Lane & Sails Tours

11 View Street,
Stewart Island, 9846

+64 3 219 1151
Email: tait@sailsashore.co.nz
Web: www.sailsashore.co.nz