|the group, Brent our intrepid leader kneelingl|
A nice but distant and rather elusive male Yellowhammer, as much sought by Geoff, our Australian photographer who would go to nearly any lengths to get a decent photograph of one.
There are, fortunately, rather more interesting native species, and if asked probably the number one would be a Kiwi, although not which of the 4 species. One often sees these road signs, most of which have been peppered by non-consearvation minded hunters. We made nocturnal expeditions to see the, some very briefly, two with incredible success. The first, when photography was not allowed, was on an excursion with Ian Cooper of Okarito Kiwi Tours www.okaritokiwitours.co.nz to show us Okarito Brown Kiwi when first a radio-tracked female Jolene walked nonchalantly between us and was soon folowed by her smaller and shyer male. The second good views were when we went to an island off Stewart Island, crossing a Paterson Inlet (my ancestors must have got everywhere!) where Southern Brown Kiwis feed on insects on the same beach where Sir David Attenborough has also watched them. The photos are those of Etienne.
|Southern Brown Kiwis|
|Paradise Shelduck, female|
|Plumed / Grass Whistling Duck|
|New Zealand Falcon, an adult female and juvenile found after many days of fruitless searching;|
|New Zealand Falcon|
|Weka : a ridiculously tame endmic rail|
|Takahé: another ridiculously tame endemic, this from a population transferred to the rat-free Tiritiri Matangi Island where they wander freely amongst visitors|
|Mount Doom, an irresistable photograph with comments about us all being doomed. (Remember 'Dad's Army'?)|
|New Zealand Pigeon, difficult to photograph as they always seem to sit partially in sunshine and partially in shade|
|Rock Wren (photo by Etienne Littlefair): diabolically secretive and maximum skulker, it took around 4 hours in pretty nasty weather for Etienne to get this photo. I failed!|
|New Zealand Robins and one investigating if Geoff was edible or harboured insects|