Mollymawks are the most common albatross in the Southern hemisphere. These ones were surveying Rakiura, and circling Kaumatua Philip Smith and me while we were offshore on his boat. Philip shared his korero with me here, telling me about an unusual rock he picked from a midden which was later tested and found to connect back to Tahiti—one of the three shaped scoria blocks or marae stones found to date in Tautuku, the Catlins and Rakiura.
We spoke at length about bird migration patterns and the ‘black clouds’ that were observed and followed by navigators, while the mollymawks tracked and circled us. It’s as if they knew what we were talking about. The island in the background is Native Island, where tītī nest and where Philip found the Tahitian marae stone