A Good Day for Nature Photography

Rifleman / Titipounamu
Rifleman / titipounamu – smaller than a leaf!

I am going to mark this date on my calendar for next year as being a great day for nature photography. There were so many birds active in the valley as we walked around Zealandia that it was hard to know which ones to follow. This is the time of year when nesting is all but done and the fledglings are flying about in the trees calling for their parents to feed them. Exciting stuff for a bird photographer!

Whitehead / Pōpokotea
Whitehead / Pōpokotea with cicada

The cicadas were singing all around us as we explored the bush covered valley. I was trying to find one for a macro shot, however they were well hidden. It soon became obvious as to why they were hidden, as they made a great food source for the hungry fledglings. Nature times these events perfectly, providing a good food source when it is needed the most.

Whitehead / Pōpokotea
Whitehead / Pōpokotea

I am enjoying the new focusing system on the Lumix G9II in the bush. It definitely makes it easier to focus on the birds when there is lot of tree branches etc around them. If I could slow some of the smaller birds down a little it would be the perfect scenario! Whiteheads and riflemen are so quick to flit about from branch to branch that I still missed many – that’s on me, not the camera. I can’t say enough just how much I am enjoying this camera.

Young kaka squawking
Young kaka squawking to be fed.

There was a lot of loud squawking at one of the kaka feeders. We heard it as we were walking through the bush and when we finally arrived the reason became clear. A young kaka believing that it should still be feed by its parent, and the parent thinking otherwise. It fluffed up its feathers to get attention, and made such a racket that ear plugs would have been nice. Made for good photographic opportunities though.

Red-crowned kakariki
Red-crowned kakariki high up in the trees.

Some birds fly by so fast that it is hard to identify them until they stop somewhere. The kakariki is one of such birds. It buzzed past our heads and up into the trees so fast we were all looking to see what it was. It settled high up in the tree canopy but thankfully my lens was able to see it clearly. I managed three or four frames before it flew off again.

Kaka eyeing up the camera.

I love getting close-ups of the kaka. They have such character and engage with the camera so well. The one above is a classic example of the kaka checking me out while I am checking it out. The image below is a fledgling whitehead that spotted my camera lens pointing at it. Having the birds stare down the lens like this and engage with the camera is one of my favourite things.

Fledgling whitehead / pōpokotea
Fledgling whitehead / pōpokotea waiting for food.

This was definitely a good day at Zealandia and I have so many images to look through and process. This selection are some that caught my eye on a first look through the folder and give you an idea of the fun we had. I hope you have as much fun viewing them.

North Island robin / Toutouwai
North Island robin / Toutouwai getting very close to the camera.
Takahē pair
Takahē pair

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