November 30, 2014 … same walk, different outcomes

Back to Zealandia again.

Shag

Juvenile pied shag

 

Yesterday was a very nice day on which the wind almost disappeared. Our morning plans were interrupted, so Mary and I went to Zealandia with the intention of having lunch there.  The first environment you meet on passing through the gate is the lower dam, where there are several varieties of waterfowl. A significant colony of pied shags nest in two large trees on either side of the lake.  For some reason, when they take off to the South, they seem to do a standard procedure turn and come back over the  nearer shore line. I think this one is a juvenile bird.

Dabchick

The dabchick is a member of the grebe family. They are small and that yellow eye makes them look angry all the time.

 

A newcomer to the dam is the dabchick. As far as I am aware, this is a singleton, and as yet there are no signs of more. I continue to be entranced by the colour contrast between the dark plumage and the brilliant green of the nearby bush reflected in the lake.

Scaup

Scaup family

 

At the top end of the lower dam, there was a family of New Zealand Scaup (Papango). I counted eight ducklings though they kept diving for food so it was hard to keep track. The behaviour of the male was at best, furtive, as if trying to dissociate himself from the consequences of his actions.

Bush trail

Whether or not you see anything else the sights sounds and smells of the bush are worth the journey.

 

Leaving the lake, we followed the lower path and enjoyed the walk in the bush for its own sake. We could hear bird song all around, but in this part of the reserve the bush is so dense that the birds can stay hidden if they so choose. On a warm day with little wind the dappled light was a delight.

Kaka

Kaka – the lowland parrot

 

When we rejoined the main path, we saw several Kaka (Nestor meridionalis) , the lowland parrot. These birds are similar in size to a chicken and that beak looks as if it could inflict injury.

Hihi

Hihi – the stitchbird. Only the male has the yellow patches

 

Up in the discovery area, where there are feeding stations, many Stitchbirds were fluttering in and out. I estimate there were perhaps twenty of them, occasionally augmented by the bellbird with its clear chiming note. Pure delight for me.  I still have not regained my control over the use of the long lens in deep shade, but definite improvements are happening.

Robin

Toutouwai – North Island Robin

 

We carried on around the Round the Lake Track, as I had done with my visitors a few days earlier. To our great pleasure we were accompanied some of the way by a tiny North island Robin  (Toutouwai). These birds are fearless and will advance towards you and sit on your boot in hope of catching the insects you disturb. This can be a problem with a big lens that won’t focus closer than 1.8 metres. I had to keep backing away.

orchid

Greenhood – native orchid

 

My final picture of the day is of a less agile subject but one which is almost harder to find. The native New Zealand Greenhood orchid (Pterostylis australis) flowers in November to December. It is small (about 10 cm)  and hides itself well among the various grasses on the bush floor.

That’s all for now.

 

 

 

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About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
This entry was posted in Birds, flowers, Lakes, Light, Weather, Zealandia. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to November 30, 2014 … same walk, different outcomes

  1. brent says:

    a must visit more than once ill be back

  2. Ellen says:

    I do like the attentive robin in his trendy socks

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