Monday, December 13, 2010

Boundary Stream Birdlife

Well most weekends I have spent a day out at Boundary Stream again, this place is a predator control mainland Island which is quite successful and it shows with the birdlife and forest health.
Predator control is going quite well because last weekend I found a pair of rifleman nesting on the ground and these guys normally nest high in trees.

Whats been really interesting as of the past few weeks has been the nesting falcons in the gully, NZ Falcon's are known to dive bomb people that get close to their nesting area and attack if you get really close.
One day I was walking down the track by the Gully and I heard a falcon calling, sure enough one came and landed in the tree not to far from me so I decided to watch her for a while "She must have got sick of me cos she did try an dive bomb on me once and then the male came and did a few low passes of me" It was great being so close to a bird like that.
Below are some of the shots taken, One thing I have learned is to always watch my back because some of the falcon have got very close when you least expect it!

New Zealand Falcon Approaches
New Zealand Falcon

The watchful eye of the Falcon
  Also Kokako numbers have increased quite a bit with predator control their is now around 30  birds living in the area and becoming more common to see them in early morning and evening also I found a nest from last year around by the bush in the car park.

North Island Kokako
  The other bush birds such as Tui, bellbird, Robins and Tomtits are all doing well and nesting at this time, below is a tomtit with a mouth full of insects to feed his chicks taken last weekend.

North Island Robin in Full Song

Tomtit with Mouth full of Insects

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rifleman Nesting Time!

Well recently I have been going to Boundary Stream Mainland Island which is about a hours drive from Napier, its a great place to go to for bush birds plus it gets really good in the summer with lots of bird activity with nesting.
Late last year when I first got my camera I was walking back down one of the tracks and found a little rifleman hopping around on the ground getting nesting material to build a nest, they are great little birds to watch and the smallest in NZ.

This year I wanted to find another nest and spend a bit more time with them, I managed to find another nest because the one I found last year had broke in the recent heavy winds and rain.
Anyone that has seen a rifleman knows they are super quick but a very rewarding bird to photograph.
These shots are around the nest hole with the parents and chicks of last year bringing food to the young.

The Graceful Rifleman

North Island Rifleman

Showing off his Spider

Male Rifleman


Te Mata Peak after Dark

The Morepork's of the Peak

Well it started as I was walking back down from the peak one night as I heard a morepork calling, I thought it was a kid playing a practical joke as it sounded so fake and so close.
Later I went to have a closer look and there sure enough was a morepork 4meters in front of me so I quickly raced back home and got my camera.

When I got back to the peak I couldn't find him again so headed back home after a while of searching and practiced taking photos of trees and trunks in the dark, "even if I saw a bird I don't think I would have even got a shot in as I couldn't focus and it was way to dark"
So I had to think of new ways to improve and how I am going to take a shot of a night bird.

 An few days later I was walking back down the peak again and I had a morepork fly directly in front of me so I thought that the weekend coming I should go out and practice my night photography.

 Once I found the morepork and I had my camera I kept on coming back once a week and only for a hour or two around the evening so flash wasn't going to have as big of effect as it would during the night.

   The beautiful morepork but I over flashed this one plus it was the first night out.

Morepork (Ruru)

Morepork Calling
Carefully watches His Prey

Feather Grooming Even Happens Under the Cover of Night
Also when out and about up the peak I heard moreporks mating quite a bit but getting close was impossible I tried many times, even movement would scare them and they would fly off.
So Lucky one of the pair called in his mate and I managed to get a shot in of them mating but only just because they don't do it for long.

Movepork Mating

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dotterel's at Ocean beach

Over the past few months I have been doing a dotterel project during first light.
I have seen shots of birds taken during the early hours of the morning and what better birds to try it on then NZ Dotterels so one morning I got up really early like 3am in the morning and did a journey to the breeding areas of these guys, its a wee bit of a walk to the location and drive hence the early wake up "but so worth it getting out on the beach and watching shooting stars on the way, plus that feeling that your the only one out there (which I was because no one else is properly that crazy)"

Below is a collection of some of the images I have taken, quite happy to see dotterels mating which isn't something you see often.
Great birds to watch and photograph.

On another note I went out again this weekend but no nesting, it has been a month and a bit since I was last out there so maybe they nested and something happened to the nest.

New Zealand Dotterel with First Rays of Sun

Dont you just love the Red light of a Sunrise

The First Moments of Sunrise is Golden Hour

New Zealand Dotterel Gang

New Zealand Dotterels doing the Business

New Zealand Dotterels