10 Sep 2014

A Unique Tour in September

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Watching the Albatross chicks at Taiaroa Head

Albatross chick flight - Royal Albatross centre Dunedin

Albatross chick in flight

The Royal Albatross Centre is alive with action and anticipation during September. It is around this time of the year that the focus of attention transitions from albatross chicks leaving the nest to adults returning to begin breeding after a year off travelling the South-Pacific ocean.

There are currently 24 nests on the headland and they are slowly but surely becoming more active. Throughout the day the chicks move from one side of the headland to the other, following the wind, which allows them to find the strongest current to perfect their flying technique. This provides the opportunity for a fantastic viewing opportunity for people on a Unique Taiaroa tour who get the chance to watch them stretch their wings and hover in the strong southerly wind for up to two minutes at a time.

However, with their increased mobility comes a stronger desire to mark their territory; click here to watch some albatross chick conflict…

Albatross chick flight - Royal Albatross Centre Dunedin

Albatross chick in flight

This year has been the second most successful natural breeding season at the Royal Albatross Centre, but it has been a long time since the albatross chicks waited this long before leaving and the adults begin returning. This is due in part to some chicks still being too heavy to fly confidently and the recent warm and calm weather that reduces the opportunities for a successful flight. Stay tuned to the Royal Albatross Centre on Facebook to hear all about the first take off!

Taiaroa Head Lighthouse Dunedin Otago Peninsula

Taiaroa Head Lighthouse

Fort Taiaroa Dunedin

Fort Taiaroa, Dunedin

During a Unique Taiaroa tour at the Royal Albatross Centre in Dunedin you will visit the albatross colony and the historic Fort Taiaroa where you can visit the Armstrong Disappearing Gun and view the Taiaroa Head lighthouse.