The beautiful white herons visit Okarito (just 27km from Franz Josef on the coast) up until April. This is their only breading ground in New Zealand.
Paula, from Okarito Boat Tours, has just sent us this update:
Bird update! We are just coming into the best time of year to view birds on the Okarito Lagoon! The white herons have had a remarkable breeding season and the young will now be leaving the nests and arriving on the Lagoon to feed alongside the adults and the Royal Spoonbills. We have a good number of Bar Tailed Godwits (they come here from Alaska & Siberia!), Pied Stilts and even the occasional shy Bittern.