Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gone North for Winter

Black Fronted Tern

Black Fronted Tern Portrait

For me winter is one of my favourite times of the year, great new birds in, great light, don’t have to get up as early to photograph around the break of dawn.
I will be doing a few blogs soon but first I wanted to do one on my favourite birds the black fronted tern, they are one of these birds that you can never stop photographing and they are always so interesting to watch plus from June onwards they start developing beautiful colours as they come into their breeding plumage.

Only a few birds come up to the north from the south island during winter but always a great sight, many of the birds come up the west coast and visit river mouths but a few come to the east coast as well and fly all the way to the bay of plenty.
The black fronted tern is a very endangered bird with only around 3.5% of the population juveniles showing they are on the decrease even more.
They breed on the riverbeds in the south island where weeds, predators and floods cause nest loss and chick loss.
For the few that head north it’s always a treasure to find them.

Feather Shake

Takeoff Checks

Coming into breeding plumage

Black Fronted Tern Close-up


Tern Gape

At Sunset


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fallen for Fernbirds

It's been a while since I made my last blog post and I have been working on a few different things.
My passion for fernbirds started over the Christmas and New year holidays away in Taupo.
Normally while in Taupo I like to go looking for Blue Duck and then some of the forest birds in the area "It's a great area for wildlife and for its scenery, I tend to focus more on the wildlife part ;)"

Over the holidays I wanted to focus more on fernbirds this time so I went to some good known spots where these special birds live, I managed to find a few fernbirds and see them fly from branch to branch with their long tails acting like quite a bit of resistance.
So that day I tried taking a few photos but nothing really came out too good due to mid day harsh summer light.

A few days later I went to Whakatane to catch up with a friend, it was very good seeing the bird life in the area and ofcourse more fernbirds at the salt marsh during early morning was very rewarding with great light and friendly fernbirds.
After that it was back home and back to work with no fernbird spots in Hawke's Bay that I knew off besides a hour and half drive to the Kaweka Ranges where there is some and those spots where hard to photograph them.

A few months ago I got a tip off that there was another fernbird spot in the Bay so I went to check it out, this area has a protected fence around it to protect the young kiwi around the lake and ofcourse due to predator proof fencing the fernbirds have increased quite well.
After spending a bit of time at the lake I can now speak fernbird which is a series of clicks, chatters and clonks and seems to do the trick very well.
"There’s nothing quite like a dawn chorus fill of fernbird’s on a misty morning when they are all calling at the same time"

Fernbird hiding in reeds
Life's a Jungle for a Fernbird

Drying Raupo makes a good support

Life is a Balance