Yesterday I had a very exciting encounter with a ruru at Zealandia Ecosanctuary. I would never had seen this amazing bird had I not been in the right place at the right time. Heading home after a pleasant walk about the sanctuary, I decided to check for bellbirds one last time. When you have a big lens on your camera people tend to share what birds they have seen because they know you are likely to be interested in photographing them. This is what happened yesterday. This guy walked up to us very excited to share how close we were to the ruru and then walked with us back up the steep track to show us exactly where to look. I can’t thank him enough, as I would normally not attempt such a steep track.
Not long after, another photographer was shown the way up to where I was. The two of us were so excited to be able to capture images of this amazing bird. Ruru are usually nocturnal, yet this one was wide awake watching the people walk down the track. It didn’t seem bothered about the cameras pointing its way. Before long, another three photographers happened to be walking down the track. Knowing us, they stopped to see what we were photographing. The ruru remained happy to just watch the crazy humans with their cameras.
There are only so many images you can use of a bird on a branch. I tried different settings to avoid the bright background blowing out and over-exposed a little so there would still be enough detail in the final images. Not wanting to upset the bird, when I had enough captures on my card, I left the others to it. They also left not long after. While these experiences are exciting and fun, we still have to remember that this is a wild bird. If want them to stay in the sanctuary, then we need to be aware when they have had enough of cameras.