27 September 2016

Honeybee on tarata

Spring is well under way here in the valley. The blossom on many of the fruit trees is well past its peak, new leaves are expanding on many of the deciduous trees, and this morning I watched a thrush gathering a bill-full of earthworms for its insatiably hungry young. I walked to the gate and, on the way back, stopped by a big tarata (lemonwood; Pittosporum eugenioides). The air was full of the sound of honeybees working the pale yellow-green flowers.

[1/800 sec at f4; ISO 320]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

24 September 2016

Tui at the Pohangina Wetlands

Photographing tui on the Massey University campus among the cherry blossom is one thing, but photographing a tui feeding on the native kakabeak (kowhai ngutukaka) at the Pohangina Wetlands is another: somehow intrinsically more satisfying. I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps photographing the Massey birds, which are habituated to constant human presence, seems too close to photographing animals in a zoo, or maybe the juxtaposition of a quintessentially New Zealand bird and a plant most closely associated with Japanese culture seems slightly contrived.

Of course, while kakabeak is a native plant, it's almost extinct in the wild, and if you see one it's almost certainly a cultivated plant.

[1/400 sec at f4, ISO 250]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

19 September 2016

Pohangina Valley Pheasant

Pheasants are a not uncommon sight on the roadsides in the valley, but photographing them can be difficult. On Sunday I happened to have the fortunate coincidence of a cooperative driver and a similarly cooperative rooster, and one of the three photographs turned out quite nice.

I love pheasants and never fail to get a thrill of delight when I see one.

[1/400 sec at f4, ISO 250]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

17 September 2016

Some rabbits still live

Those of you who understood what the man must have felt at the conclusion of Suppositions about a man and his rabbits will be pleased to know at least some rabbits survived (well, at least this one, and possibly all — I've since seen two simultaneously).

This seems to be another Spock rabbit, and although its ears aren't kinked, I wonder whether that distinctive dark nose is a permanent feature or whether it's just wet from feeding after the rain? The former, I hope: I'd like to be able to identify it beyond doubt.

They're survivors, these rabbits.

[1/100 sec at f4, ISO 250]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

15 September 2016

Tui time

Early spring's an excellent time of year for appreciating tui on the Massey University campus. An abundance of nectar-producing blossom attracts an abundance of tui, and because the birds are habituated to humans, they're easy to approach closely. Yesterday I finally took the time to make some photographs, and because the day was heavily overcast, I didn't have the usual difficulties with the shiny iridescence of the plumage.

[1/80 sec at f5.6, ISO 200]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

13 September 2016

Korimako on kanuka

More korimako, I'm afraid, but I can't resist these marvellous little birds. On a heavily overcast, dull day, I prowled along the edge of the terrace and encountered this female korimako inspecting the bark of an old kanuka for tasty invertebrate morsels  —  a change of diet from the more usual tree lucerne nectar.

I loved the scratch and papery rustle of her little claws on the peeling bark as she spiralled up the trunk.

[1/200 sec at f4, ISO 320]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

08 September 2016

More korimako

Yes, another korimako (male), but I like these glimpses. This is how I usually see them.

[1/640 sec at f4, ISO 250]
All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

04 September 2016

The Far Side kereru

This, I imagine, is how Gary Larson might have envisaged kereru.

[1/1250 sec at f4, ISO 250]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor