Last Saturday a friend and I walked over the Ngamoko Range to Leon Kinvig hut in the Pohangina headwaters. The following day we wandered downriver a short way and had the unexpected treat of meeting a family of whio — mum, dad, and two almost-fully-grown ducklings. They seemed more interested in than afraid of us, and swam close to where we sat quietly watching.
The bird on the right is one of the subadults, the slightly out-of-focus bird behind, with her left foot raised, is the female.
That evening we saw another pair of whio in the big pool right next to the hut, and watched them until dark. Days in the Ruahine don't get much better.
[6 January 2013, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 300 mm, ISO 200, 1/640 at f8. Check the previous two posts for photographs of a male whio and younger ducklings from the survey just before Christmas.]
All content © 2012 Pete McGregor