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Volume 20, 1887
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3. “Recent Explorations North of Chalky Sound, West Coast of Otago,” by A. Reischek, with map (Plate XXII.).

An abstract of correspondence was read by Sir James Hector, who explained that Mr. Reischek, who is a well-known practical naturalist, had, with the assistance of the Government, been landed at Chalky Inlet in January last, and since then had been engaged in exploring the country between Chalky and Dusky Sounds. One of his principal objects was the discovery of further specimens of the interesting and rare bird Notornis. In this he had not been successful, but had obtained several geographical results of considerable interest, such as the discovery of five new lakes, hitherto unmarked on the maps, which he had named Lake Hector, Lake Thomas (after Professor Thomas, of Auckland), Lake Fraser (after the Hon. Captain Fraser), Lake Macarthur, and Lake Rimmer. He had also found about twenty square miles of good grass country, which he reported to be capable of pasturing about 1,600 head of cattle. This constituted a tableland, having an altitude of about 1,400 feet above the sea. The lakes described are in the mountains at the back of this plateau, and communicate with the sea by five deep ravines. Mr. Reisohek had oat tracks in several directions, and for weeks together camped on the plateau and adjacent mountains, collecting geological specimens, and specimens of all the birds met with, of which he encloses a complete list, including forty-seven species. In January and February the weather was exceedingly trying, but for the last three months the weather has been fine, with only occasional storms and showers from the north-west, the prevailing south-easterly weather having been extremely fine and dry.

The following is a list of the birds collected by Mr. Reischek:—

  • Hieracidea novœ-zealandiæ, rare.

  • Hieracidea ferox, rare.

  • Circus gouldi.

  • Athene novœ-zealandiœ, rare.

  • Halcyon vagans, very rare.

  • Prosthemadera novœ-zealandiœ, rare.

  • Anthornis melanura, rare.

  • Zenicus longipes, rare.

  • Acanthisitta chloris.

  • Orthonyx ochrocephala.

  • Gerygone flaviventris, rare.

  • Certhiparus novœ-zealandiœ.

  • Petroica macrocephala.

  • Petroica albifroms.

  • Turnagra crassirostris, rare.

  • Rhipidura flabellifera.

  • Rhipidura fuliginosa.

  • Glaucopis cinerea.

  • Creadion carunculatus.

  • Creadion cinereus.

  • Stringops habroptilus, alpine variety, rare.

  • Platycercus novœ-zealandiœ.

  • Platycercus auriceps.

  • Nestor montana.

  • Eudynamis taitensis.

  • Carpophaga novœ-zealandiœ.

  • Apteryx australis, rare.

  • Hœmatopus unicolor.

  • Ocydromus fuscus.

  • Casarca variegata.

  • Anas chloris.

  • Hymenolaimus malacorhynchus, very few.

  • Hymenolaimus malacorhynchus, very few.

  • Lestris catarractis, very rare.

  • Larus dominicanus.

  • Dysporus serrator, rare.

  • Phalacrocorax brevirostris, rare.

  • Phalacrocorax, similar to varius.

  • Eudyptes pachyrhyncus.

  • Eudyptes minor.

Foreign Birds.
  • Turdus musicus.

  • Fringilla carduelis.

  • Turdus merula.

  • Fringilla chloris.

  • Alanda arvensis.

The attached map of the vicinity (pl. xxii.) shows: (1.) Lake Hector; (2.) Lake Thomas; (3.) Lake Fraser; (4.) Lake Macarthur; (5.) Lake Rimmer; (6.) and (7.) Lake Esau and Lake Dobson; (8.) Lake Cæsar; (9.) The Three Brothers; (10.) chain of mountains; (11.) hut; (12.) and (13.) tracks.