Last year four of us went to Whataroa and the White Heron colony. We had so much fun we decided to make it a yearly trip away. This year’s destination was Whanganui, including Bushy Park, Upokongaro, and anything else we could find while in the area. We hadn’t planned on it raining the entire time, which it did, but that didn’t stop us getting out and about with our cameras.
I decided to only take my G9II and my 100-400 lens so I knew I would challenging myself if we did anything other than bird photography. As it happens the birds don’t really like the rain either, so we photographed everything from birds, bees, flies to flowers and buds. I made use of the macro function on my lens and used it to get macro images of anything I could find.
Bushy Park gave me some hihi, including a young unbanded hihi, along with some korimako (bellbird) and tieke (saddlebacks). We also had a very friendly robin that followed us around for a bit in the hope of finding some juicy grubs. We made three visits to Bushy Park and it seemed that the better the weather got, the fewer birds we saw. The bird song in the bush was amazing to listen to, we might not have seen them but the birds were about and singing about it.
I have seen photos of the Nankeen Night Herons from Upokongaro but until this trip I had never seen one myself. From what we were told, the week before there were lots of them about to photograph, but alas they are not keen on the rain so we only saw one adult bird fly in, and one juvenile that staying where we could see if it we twisted our necks out of shape and looked straight up. The images below are the juvenile high up in the tree above us.
The food and service at the Behind The Door on Four cafe there was amazing and is definitely worth a stop even if you don’t want to see the herons. While at the cafe we made the most of any and all opportunities. There were sparrows, thrush, bumblebees, honeybees and some beautiful flowers to be photographed.