In search of the Rifleman | Tītitipounamu Family

This morning we headed into Karori, Wellington, to visit Zealandia Ecosanctuary. There have been many reports of a rifleman family that is fairly easy to find, so with that as our focus we started walking into the valley. Our first encounter was with a pair of koera, or Californian Quails. They were happily feeding in a small field of daisies. There was seating available so this allowed us to get lower down without having to get on the ground.

Male Californian Quail
Female Californian Quail

Walking though the bush we saw many different birds flitting about around us, but I was keen to find the rifleman family and wasn’t easily distracted. They have a very high pitched call, that for many is almost impossible to hear. Luckily I can hear them easily and once heard it was just a case of pinpointing where the sound was coming from. They were right in front of us! So close that the big lens on the camera made it impossible to focus on them. As soon as the camera tried to focus they would flit off to another branch. I consider myself very fortunate to get these two images.

Rifleman | Tītitipounamu
Rifleman | Tītitipounamu

Walking down the main track it was important to keep an eye on where we were going. Kaka were using the walkway as a flying highway and were not stopping if there were people in the way. They put on a great display for us today and I particularly like the next two images.

Kaka preening

That is probably enough images for this post but I do have more to share. I will put them in a separate post. I will leave you with one of my favourite little bush birds, the North Island Robin.

North Island Robin

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