We drove over to Pukaha with plans of having a successful day photographing birds. Alas it was not to be. Once there, and walking through the bush tracks it became very clear to us that there were not many birds to be seen. What’s more, the reason for this was flying above us making a horrendous noise. High above was a NZ Falcon / kārearea flying off with its usual kak kak call when it is off to hunt. A short distance away, was another kārearea squawking constantly demanding food. It was a young fledgling, and still being fed by its parents.
Because of all the noise they were making, all the local bush birds were hunkered down out of site. They didn’t want to be dinner for the squawker! We saw a few fantail and whiteheads, but none that were willing to hang around for a photo session. So we headed to the walk in aviary where the kārearea couldn’t get to.
It took a while to find the aviary residents too. The plant life had grown bushy and the roof was off the whio cage at the center, giving the other birds more places to hide from people. I came across the tui quite by accident. I saw a slight movement in the tree, so looked through some leaves and there he was staring straight at me. He also had no intention of moving either.
We found a couple of kākāriki hiding in the bushes, just far enough in to make it difficult to photograph them. I like this one because it looks like the bird is shy and hiding from the camera.
On our way out, we came across these brightly coloured caterpillars. The belong to the Cinnabar Moth, and like to feast on ragwort. I have never seen these before so it was a treat to photograph something new to me.
Of course I can never pass up a bumblebee, but this one was super interesting. It was busy gathering all the pollen off its back and wings and storing it on its legs. It was doing all this while also drinking nectar from the thistle flower. A true multi-tasker!