New Zealand Dotterels

One of the reasons for my recent visit to Kereta was to see the New Zealand dotterels in their full breeding colours. Usually by the time I get there they already have chicks and their colours are already fading.  The rangers around the Coromandel Peninsula are very good at putting up signs and fencing off the nesting areas, so they weren’t hard to find.

We made sure to keep our distance and used our long reach lenses to capture images of the dotterels without upsetting them too much. It was interesting to watch them chase each other away from their nests. At one point even an oystercatcher pair was chased off by the dotterels.

We did see a few nests with sitting birds, and even saw one nest with three eggs after the dotterel got off them to chase off an intruder.  Sadly the dotterels have no real understanding of the reason for the fenced off areas and have settled into nests outside of the fences.

I am really enjoying the G9 with the 100-400 lens with these birds. I am able to get so much closer to the birds without actually having to be that close.  I am really pleased with these images and hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I do.  I am returning to Kereta next month with the hope of photographing some dotterel chicks.

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