09 January 2013

Subadult and female whio, Pohangina river

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


The Elephant's Child said...

What enchanting birds. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Excellent photo - lucky you! They are beautiful ducks..... -Maureen

leonie said...

Life doesnt grt much better than that, does it. What a gift.

pohanginapete said...

Elephant's Child, enchanting's an apt word.

Maureen, they might not have the gaudily spectacular colours of some birds, but they're certainly beautiful, particularly when seen in this environment.

Leonie, a gift indeed. We were so lucky.

Relatively Retiring said...

Happy New year. I'm so glad the whio are keeping a check on you.

Zhoen said...

The one on the right is a charmer, with lovely feet.

Robb said...

Kia ora Pete,
Happy to write I observed a pair of such youngsters on the Maropea a few months back. Been some time since I have been through Kingvig and Ngamoko, but the memories of seeing whio in those same pools remain sharp and vivid. Just like your photos. We shall to catch up soon e hoa.

pohanginapete said...

Zhoen, that's the subadult, and they were indeed charmers.

Robb, the Oroua survey just after New Year also turned up another family of whio upriver from Triangle hut. Good to know they seem to be having some success throughout the Ruahine.