31 July 2016

At the National Bird Show

After three months of events around New Zealand, the National Bird Show culminated this weekend in Feilding, not far from Palmerston North and — more importantly — the Pohangina Valley. Although dominated by seemingly innumerable varieties of canaries and budgerigars, the show also offered the chance to see many other types of birds: this gorgeous parakeet, for example.

Although I dislike seeing birds caged, I'll point out that the organisers had posted numerous signs explaining that most of these birds had been habituated to accept small show-cages and that the birds were usually housed in much larger aviaries.

[1/60 sec at f5.6, ISO 1600]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

22 July 2016

Korimako in tree lucerne, Pohangina Valley

Korimako (NZ bellbird) can be frustratingly difficult to photograph. They move fast and often, and around here they're usually flitting about within dense foliage. To make matters worse, a bright background sky frequently creates an impossible range of contrast.

This female (instantly recognisable by the white stripe at the corner of her mouth) certainly didn't make it easy, but, of the three photographs I managed, this one turned out acceptable.

[1/1600 at f4, ISO 250]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

10 July 2016

Muddy pukeko, Foxton Beach

The pukeko prowling about on the mudflats at Foxton Beach last week were habituated to people passing by (here in the valley they're much more wary) and consequently offered reasonable photo opportunities. And, no, this is not a mutant bird: that off-white on the bird's bill and face is dried mud. Judging from the mud-line, I'm guessing it had its eyes closed when it grubbed for that particular tasty morsel.

[1/200 sec at f4; ISO 250]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

04 July 2016

Titipounamu (rifleman) on the Tunupo Track

The riflemen along the Tunupo track on Saturday wouldn't stay still, but that wasn't the worst of the difficulties trying to photograph them. One of their most frustrating habits was staying high, so on the few occasions I did manage to focus on one, the background included patches of bright sky. In this photograph, though, one of those patches happened to fall almost directly behind the tiny bird (this is a female), and although I'd have preferred a clean, out-of-focus green background, the light patch at least helps draw attention to the bird.

[1/125 @f4, ISO 320]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

02 July 2016

Oroua headwaters, mid winter

I walked partway up the Tunupo track today, but despite the effort I remained cold. Still, the views were worth some mild discomfort.

[1/800 at f6.3, ISO 200]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor