Good images of birdlife in the New Zealand bush are difficult. They require a lot of patience and skill, neither of which I have in abundance. So when I get the chance, I jump at it. Here are some results, from my ‘road trip’ back in November. First the elusive Kokako, which we occasionally used to hear in the distance when we went tramping around Pureora, west of Lake Taupo, but seldom saw:
Next the native parrot, Kaka. Not such a good image, but the light level was low and it was a fair way away:
A more common sight in New Zealand gardens is the Tui, especially if one has a flax bush:
They are a fine-looking bird, with their delicate white feathering at the back, the irridescent green plumage and the white ruff at their neck.
Now we get to the really special creatures. The Takahe was thought to be extinct until just a few years ago, but here is a live one, right at the exact centre of this image:
Well yes, they are rather elusive and shy. However, eventually it did emerge, looking a bit like a dark green football:
Now the reason for this appearance becomes clear: food!
OK, now comes the confession. All the shots of that tui and the takahe were taken while my wife and I were enjoying a coffee at the Mount Bruce wildlife centre. The other pictures were taken during a wander around their wonderful reserve.
The kokako shots were actually taken through the quite dense wire mesh of its (very large) enclosure. By using the maxmium aperture on my tele lens, the depth of field becomes so small that the fence is thrown completely out of focus and almost disappears. The downside is that focussing becomes very critical, so most of the shots I took were not ‘keepers’.
Mount Bruce is well worth a visit. Travellers from Wellington can also stop off at the many excellent wineries around Martinborough, almost as good as our Nelson wines!