Sunday, 28 December 2014

Tiritiri Matangi

Years and years ago when I was knee high to a grasshopper, my parents took the family out to Tiritiri Matangi as some friends of the family/relatives were over from the UK.

I've not been back since, but have always wanted to. It is a bird sanctuary for a lot of our native birds. Check out their website here for full details on what they are about...

With it being the holiday season, an oppourtunity arose and I was able to head out to Tiri with Mark G and Rob (along with their wives...).

Lots of op's for photography on a stunningly hot day. For the bird life, I just set the camera to auto ISO and to a shutter speed of 1/500th. I mostly used used a single point for AF and pretty much didn't change any settings all day.

Here's the best of what I got... (I have cropped some of them quite heavily to remove blurred objects that were taking up the foreground).

Oh, and I am a little annoyed with myself... I forgot to turn the GPS on in my camera! Still I know where I was :)

I'll do my best to name all the birds that I can... someone else may have to help with the rest :)

New Zealand pigeon (kererū)

I thought it looked pretty regal perched up in that tree like that, but also big, fat & tasty,

North Island saddleback (tīeke)

Tui (tūī)

So many Tui! You'd almost get bored photographing them... almost :)

I'd hoped to try and get a decent shot of one flying... far too hard! But I did get lucky with one shot. It kinda turned out okay after a little bit of post processing work...

I'll take it :)

Whilst we were having a break by one of the bird baths... this guy decided to show of for us... splish splash havin a bath :)

Considering how hot we were, I think we were all a little jealous since we had no where nearby to swim and cool off!

Bellbird (korimako)... I think..

And then there was this one who looked ready to boogie...

Whitehead (popokatea)

I'm particularly pleased with these photos. They are cropped heavily too.


Takahe (takahē) aka "the lawnmower"

We only saw one unfortunately and none of the chicks.

Red-crowned parakeet (kākāriki)

North Island kokako (kōkako)

These are all at pretty much ISO 10,000 to 16,000.... :)

After hearing reports of kokako sightings on one of the tracks, we had spent some time looking for them as we could also hear them (not that I knew what they sounded like). Everyone continued off down the main track, but not me.... I could sense they were close... I looked up another one of the tracks - "hey Rob, what are these birds" I say....

They were the kokako happily feeding on the track.

They look pretty funny with their chicken legs when running away :)

Everyone else wandered off again, but I wandered up the track and found them happily feeding away in a tree next to the track and were quite happy for me to get close.

Just call me the "kokako whisper" :)

North Island robin (toutouwai)

These little guys were pretty happy to get nice and close and strike a pose...

Oh... and the 2nd & 3rd pics are also at ISO 16,000.... :)

Stitchbird (hihi)

A couple of general shots...

I'm pretty happy with how the camera performed, especially in the varying conditions. Still pretty challenging though, but being able to shoot at very high ISO with not much noise is awesome.

I did find I struggled to focus on the birds and I missed a lot of potential good shots because focusing was to slow. It felt the camera was searching/very slow to focus. I'm not sure if it was just because of the environment / being too close / camera & lens combination too slow to talk to each other. It's probably a combination of all 3. I had the camera set on AI servo as I figured that would be best with the birds potentially moving around.

Once I got focused though, it locked on well. Just wish the birds would stick round for a little longer!

Still an awesome day with good company. Definitely keen to head back over soon!

Right. Angry looking kokako says that is enough for today.

But you do get a wave goodbye...