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December 17, 2015

Birds of New Zealand

I knew I was going to regret not bringing a long lens for the trip. I was pretty sure I will see many birds and will not be able to take any decent shots of them.

My fear came true on the very first day that we went to the Auckland Botanic Garden. Everywhere we could hear the chirping of birds and we spotted many too. With a zoom of 28 – 70 mm, getting a decent photo was going to be tough šŸ™

The first bird we spotted was a beautiful parrot/rooster like bird that ran across the field. This drastically cropped blurry shot was the best I could managed of this Eastern Rosella. This is what I called a FT. A non-native bird from Australia which apparently has since managed to do well in NZ.

Eastern Rosella
Eastern Rosella

But I was more lucky with the next 2 birds at the garden. Somehow they landed near enough for me to shoot off a continuous burst and volia:

Tui
Tui
Chaffinch
Chaffinch

Both are native birds of NZ. I was able to spot the Tui at several locations subsequently and took more photos of them.

On our trip to One Tree Hill, the first animal I spotted when out of the car was a big flock of Helmeted Guinea Fowl. I think they belong to the farm at Cornwall Park.

Helmeted Guinea Fowl
Helmeted Guinea Fowl

On a visit to see the Glow Worms at Waitomo, there were plenty of this little Fantail flying around. Unfortunately all I managed was this rather “blurred” shot of one of them.

Fantail
Fantail

I first spotted this Pukeko at the Sulphur Beach and subsequently at the Otorohanga Kiwi House. But I hit pay dirt at Hamilton Lake where there was a large flock of ducks and Pukeko and even an Australian Coot!

Pukeko
Pukeko
Australian Coot
Australian Coot

Ducks gathering around us as we had duck food with us.08-DSC05739 07-DSC05737

But the best was on our 2nd last day and we were at Army BayĀ and the Shakespear Regional Park. Beside the seagulls which wereĀ everywhere, there were some good finds.

Southern black-backed gull
Southern black-backed gull
Red Billed Gull
Red Billed Gull

The highlight has to be this extremely rare Dotterel which had a breeding nest nearby and became very agitated when we went too near.

New Zealand Dotterel
New Zealand Dotterel

There was also an Oyster Catcher with a nest nearby and it was making a lot of noise to try to scare us off

Oyster Catcher
Oyster Catcher

In the parks there were other birds like these strange looking California quail. Now how did the California birds end up in NZ?

California quail
California quail

And unlike Singapore, Sparrow seems to be doing well in NZ and they can be found everywhere.

House Sparrow
House Sparrow

More birds at the Otorohanga Kiwi House here

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