I saw two birds yesterday while out cycling. I came home and couldn't find them in the book. Couldn't find them in the RSPB identification guide. Tried google for their distinctive yellow heads!
Lo and behold:
That picture is exactly what I saw. Two of them. Not a doubt. Endangered apparently, and live on New Zealand's South Island.
Is this normal, or is it big news?
EDIT: bit hasty I see. There could be doubt!
I would suggest that what you saw were Yellowhammers, common British birds with more than a passing resemblence to Yellowheads. This photo of a male Yellowhammer was taken by one of our forumites, TeeJay - hope it's OK to link to it here: http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/cfs-filesystemfile.ashx/__key/communityserver-discussions-components-files/2542/1411.IMG_5F00_9335.jpg
psst, want to see my blog? http://mazzaswildside.blogspot.co.uk/
Looking at the picture of the bird you quoted I was struck by the similarity to our native Yellowhammer.
You don't think perhaps this is what you saw?
I suppose the other possibility is that they were an escaped caged bird of some sort.
My Flickr photostream
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. (Chinese proverb)
LOL aiki. Our posts crossed
Those pictures are good two. I guess all the pictures I saw of yellowhammers elsewhere had much more yellow than I saw. The crisp line around the neck of the yellowhead stuck out for me.
But if I had seen these photos first I probably would have said: "that's the one!"
I'll try and go back some time and get a shot.