Molesworth Station, Terns, Hares and Dabchicks

This January and most of February has been spent much the same way as previous years, namely endlessly sorting and processing images from our Christmas trip.

Molesworth Station

My last post finished up with Steve and I in Blenheim preparing to travel through the 180,787 hectare Molesworth Station.
Steve and I had always been intrigued by the thought of doing the 207-kilometre trip through the Molesworth, from Blenheim to Hanmer Springs. We wanted to explore the scenery and take some landscape images.

 

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A disappointing start

The Wairau Lagoons, just outside of Blenheim were to be our first port of call on our latest trip south this Christmas. We were there to find and photograph the Glossy Ibis, of which we saw only one, but it was seen at a great distance away. However, what we did see up close was heartbreaking.

An hour out from dark, cats started to make an appearance. Not just one or two but perhaps as many as half a dozen were seen as we walked back to the car.

A cute kitten, but disastrous to bird life and lizards.

The kitten above, may look cute pouncing on a feather, but this kitten will grow into a bird killing machine. Something that has no positive contribution to the wildlife out on the Wairau Lagoons.

This adult may have been seen twice by us even though it was hunting in the opposite direction.

Where did these cats come from, how did they get there? Who knows …but they are there and there in numbers.

This may have been a bit of a disappointment, but it certainly did not set the stage for the rest of our 3 weeks in the South Island.

The next stage of our trip was to be an overland trip through the Molesworth Station, a red line on the map (never been there before) for both Steve and myself.

Wild Roses were flowering the entire length of the 2-day trip through the farm bringing soft colours to the green landscape.

Moggy needs to eat, no one can hold that against the cat itself, but this is no place for a Bird Killing feline.

It was great to see a good sized breeding colony of kōtuku ngutupapa or Royal Spoonbill at the Wairau Lagoons on our trip south this Christmas. I call them Goony Birds as they can act like real clowns at times.

 

Next up will be Molesworth and our quest for the Black-fronted Tern.


Latest News

My image gallery has been updated with two new collections.
The new latest image galleries hold most of the new prints for sale posted in this blog, or in my galleries covering the previous month.
Check it out here

Boney’s Christmas post 2018

Another year has flown past or at least some of it has flown past.
The winter months of this year saw me locked away in my man cave, hunched over a keyboard, processing some 2,000 + images and uploading them to my new image gallery.
This year has been a huge success for me photographically.
I got first class images, of a number of birds that I have wanted for more than a few years.


Facebook

I want to thank all the people who have made my Facebook Group New Zealand bird image share so successful. We have a wonderful group of people and a membership of over 1500 people now and still growing strongly. But numbers mean nothing compared to the quality of the members that contribute, not only with their images but with their sense of humour and community spirit.

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Wellington pelagic trip November 2018

After trying to get out onto the Cook Straight twice earlier on in the year, I finally guessed the weather right this November.
Windy Wellington lives up to its name and I had previously booked trips in early winter that had to be cancelled due to high winds. However, I got the weather right this time and November the 17th was fine and it was a happy and excited group of 12 hopefuls that put their trust in captain Jonno and out into the choppy sea we went.
Every trip is different and on this trip saw heaps and heaps of taiko or Western Black Petrels along with the other usual suspects.
The main culprits were

  • Salvin’s Mollymawk
  • White-capped Mollymawk
  • Black-browed Mollymawk
  • Giant Northern Petrel
  • Western Black Petrel
  • Flesh-footed Shearwater

At times there were so many birds circling the boat it was impossible to single one out, without so many others photobombing my subject.

Too many birds in the frame is not really a reason for complaint but rather a challenge.

This trip sea was lumpy due to a stiff breeze. These are ideal conditions, as the breeze assists the birds to skim across the rises and troughs making for more dramatic images.

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Watch your background

The scene is set. At last the bird you have waited for, for so long is right there in front of you. You have waited an eternity for this opportunity and clickerty click, click goes the hard working camera.

Zoned out and seeing long

When that opportunity comes and that bird is right in front of us, our focus tends to be locked on to that bird and our world is reduced to that distance between us and our prize. Our attention to detail is trapped in the zone between us and our subject and we don’t notice things outside of that zone and beyond. Sometimes we are guilty of missing some small out of focus object between us and our subject as we tend to see past/through things, but equally important is what is beyond our subject.
Seeing long, seeing beyond our subject is a skill that needs to be developed as a failure to do so can cause us to miss elements that rob the image of its potential emotional impact.

Firstly the most important person you need to impress with your image is YOU. All the others that ooh & ahh over your image are meaningless if all you can see is a great big blooper staring back at you and if only you could go back in time and reposition your self so that the background of your image did not detract from your image.

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