As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Helicopter pilot comes to aid of disorientated mottled petrels at Aoraki/Mt Cook

Matthew Littlewood13:49, May 15 2019
An unusual air rescue played out in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park this week after an eagle-eyed pilot spotted something out of place during a scenic flight over the park.
Inflite helicopter pilot Craig Clark was flying with passengers on a routine scenic trip when they stopped to take in the views from the Tasman Glacier.
"We landed on the Tasman Glacier and I noticed something just out of reach. It started flapping, so I figured it must be a bird," Clark said.
The mottled petrels were safely boxed up for delivery to the DOC Twizel office after being rescued from the Tasman Glacier.
Clark was right - he had seen a bird - two in fact - and they were a long way from where they should have been - so he swung into action.
"I picked it up and put it in my jacket pocket. It didn't bite back or anything. And then I noticed another one and put that in my other pocket."
DOC biodiversity ranger Jemma Welch believes the reflection of the snow would have made the glacier look like an ocean and the birds would have got quite a shock when landing. Tourists flocked to see large chunks of the glacier carving off in January.
With the birds safely tucked away, Clark flew back to base and placed the birds in a box to be delivered to the Department of Conservation office at Aoraki/Mt Cook.
The pair of mottled petrels were then taken to Twizel where birds from the national park are taken for care.

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