Tag Archives: New Zealand birds

On Wednesday I had to drive over from Nelson to Pelorus Bridge, to pick up some Swedish visitors at noon.  I decided that there was a chance of some good images, so travelled over early, arriving at dawn!  Conditions were not what I was expecting: a thick mist shrouded everything so there was no early light to work with.  I did get some rather atmospheric shots, though.  The Pelorus River is an “incised river”, having carved its way down through the rocks (and a favourite amongst trout fishermen).

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An isolated, beautiful spot on the West Coast, Karamea has its own special microclimate.  It’s located on the western edge of the Kahurangi National Park, near the beginning (or end) of the Heaphy Track (one of the great walks of New Zealand). A short walk up the nearby Oparara river takes you to a large limestone arch.  The river is brown due to a high concentration of natural organic compounds in the water (tannins etc).  Here are some pictures.

First a bush robin that came to see what I was up to:

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I had to travel down to Burwood Hospital for my regular treatment last week. I decided to combine the trip with some serious photography, starting with bird watching.

I booked a tour with “Albatross Encounters“,  who operate out of Kaikoura.  It’s the same company that run “Dolphin Encounters”, but more on that at the end of this post.

I got some great images.  This first one is a closeup of a female Wandering Albatross, with mating plumage accentuated by a diet of shrimps and krill:

Wandering Albatross 1
Wandering Albatross (Diomedea antipodensis)

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Our Pohutukawa tree is showing a few more flowers today, which are proving a real attraction for birds.  Here’s one: I’m sure there will be more to come.

I spent last Sunday on the water off Kaikoura. It was a fishing trip with some old friends (the Serious Fishing Club) and some new ones.Salvin's Albatross 0240

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This weekend I’m off on a fishing trip to Kaikoura.   The charter boat provides all fishing gear, so I’ll just be loaded up with my photographic gear.  On my last trip, I was trying out a new lens, a 300mm telephoto.  It was incredibly difficult, the sea was lumpy, the autofocus kept latching onto people’s fishing rods rather than the birdlife, so most of my pics were no good. But I got lucky.  I had the camera to my eye when I noticed a bird swooping in towards us.  He did only one quick pass as I struggled to track him and get off a series of quick shots.  Only afterwards when I studied the images did I realise just what I had captured.  It was a Wandering Albatross, one of the very largest!  Adults have a wingspan approaching 4 metres, with a body length of  more than a metre. …

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Graeme Robertson’s stories, not just about  photography but also Nelson and New Zealand events, often with a science flavour.  It’s a companion site to an online gallery of NZ pictures covering New Zealand landscapes, birds and marine life, as well as sports and events (including some great motorcycle speedway images).