Today, with three friends, I drove up to base of the Firth of Thames - the big bite out of New Zealand that has the beautiful pristine Coromandel Peninsula on the east, and the huge city of Auckland on the west (more or less - let's not get too picky) to the Miranda Shorebird Centre.
Here on the shell banks the special and rare Wrybill Plover overwinters.
There are only about 5300 of these lovely birds left in the world and about 40% are here.
At Miranda, enthusiasts also can see lots of other birds too.
There today, back from their long journey to Alaska where they nest and raise their young, were Bar-tailed Godwits. We listened to a great talk by Keith Woodley who is the manager at the centre, about his months in Alaska checking out the Godwits' tundra nesting sites. He told us about E7 - a female Godwit that has been tagged with a satellite tracking device. She has proven what scientists have suspected - that, unlike seabirds which rest and feed on their migratory journeys, Godwits just keep going. She flew non-stop for 10,200km (6,340 miles) from New Zealand to Yalu Jiang in China. She then flew a further 5,000km (3,000 miles) to the Godwit breeding grounds in Alaska. And on the way back to NZ, her tag was still working, and we know she flew even further - a record at an amazing 11,500km (7,150 miles) in one hop, without stopping! She took just over 8 days to come back to New Zealand from Alaska.
This is a little bird smaller than a Mallard duck.
BBC news: Godwits' epic journey tracked.