I know it’s been a long time since I posted highlights for 2014 part 1, but many things have happened since then.
Starting off in the lineup for this post is the California Quail.
These birds are far from easy getting an excellent shot of and after many attempts with varying results I was pleased to get these shots.
Detail is accentuated in the soft subdued light of the afternoon and the camera position and profile of the birds are spot on.
Female Cali Quail are truly beautiful birds and although they can’t match the gaudy colours of their male counter parts, they are amazing in their own right.
The male of course is very much impressed with him self
Next on my list is the pōpokotea or the Whitehead.
This bird is hard to photograph due to its quick erratic movement as it hops around the branches looking for protein rich caterpillars and other insects.
Now we get to a biggie, the Cock Pheasant.
This bird has been a real challenge especially without a good pointing dog to help find the birds in heavy cover.
Birds flushed and flying directly away make for bad photos and hard crossing shots do not happen when one is forced to flush the birds out of their cover often from right under your feet.
Many, many shots have been taken with few being genuinely pleasing. Still some of the best to date have been when the bird knows the game is up and they try to sneak away through the under growth.
This particular shot was when the cock bird broke heavy cover dashing under a fence into an open paddock before flushing.
I was pretty happy as the bird stopped to pose and look at me giving me a good profile shot.
Next up is the Rifleman or tītipounamu
This bird is our smallest native bird. These birds do not stay around very long, they can be very inquisitive, but don’t expect a photo session. Small and quick, they dart around seemingly knowing the moment you are about to trip the shutter, so they can jump the picture leaving a blurred image of tail and legs only or maybe a ghostly imprint on your camera’s sensor.
Mr. Morpork or perhaps master Morpork the ruru is next on the list.
I have a few mature ruru photos but one of a clutch of baby Morporks has always eluded me. This is a photo of a mama Morpork and her two babies.
The kererū or native wood pigeon is always a favourite bird of mine.
The colour always displays well regardless of the light conditions but this bird has a colour tone all of its own. I’ve never seen one with this dark of burgundy on its back.
Just the colour itself put this bird in my 12 favourite bird shots for 2014.
Once again, the bird profile was excellent due to the low positioning on the tree allowing for an interesting image.
Just to finish off the year, this bird has to be one of the hardest birds to get a good shot of.
The long tail cuckoo or koekoeā is seldom seen perching in a tree .
If one is lucky to see them, they are flying overhead. Most people only hear their screeching while the bird remains hidden in the tops of the trees.
To round the show off, an even rarer bird slotted into the bonus round.
The White Winged Black Tern is not a common sight to most New Zealanders at all.
This bird is a juvenile and is dipping for insects at Miranda wildlife sanctuary, arguably the prime spot to see wading birds in New Zealand. Miranda wildlife sanctuary is a must see if you enjoy migratory birds that summer over in New Zealand.
I was pleased indeed to get this bird in less than perfect light going about its feeding routine.
Well that rounds off my highlights for last year and already I have a few for next year.
Bless you heaps folks.