the area. Further, there is a caretaker 24 hours a day to prevent vandalism or other intrusions.
Because the wind had picked up while we were visiting a faux Scottish castle (Larnach built in the early 20 century by a very rich Scot), we were sure that we would see some really marvelous flying feats while out at the Head. And, as we struggled up the steep hill, burdened by our extra weight gained by eating the most delicious scones and clotted cream together with wonderful cream tea, we were inspired by the acrobatic aviation of the enormous albatross. Several were returning from the sea to relieve their partner who had been sitting on the eggs without any food for several days. They rode the air gusts gracefully and then came to shuddering landings near the nest. Other birds like cormorants and gulls also glided through the busy sky above the Head. When we reached the viewing platform, we could look down over the cliffside and see the nesting birds and the exchange of partners. The now freed bird would run awkwardly for several steps with those lengthy wings outstretched and then just step off into the air as the gusts lifted them safely into the sky. It was magnificent to see, even for so short a time. Taiaroa is one of only three breeding places in New Zealand for the Royal Albatross so it is easy to see why DOC is so careful of it and manages it so closely. Once again, we were so pleased to visit such a special wildlife preserve.
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