Mad About Birds


Taking images of birds has to be one of the most frustrating of goals! Yet I persist, year in year out. Buying equipment with that elusive goal in mind. I am in awe of photographers such as Geoff Moon who would crouch in excruciating positions for hours to get the shot. Anyway, despite my lack of nailing the perfect shot so far, I have loved birds from my earliest memories. My mother potty trained me by giving me the New Zealand Book of Birds which I looked through for hours. Always settling on the Spoonbills, as I was fascinated by them. It was only a few years ago that I saw an actual spoonbill and I was ecstatic. This page is dedicated to my attempts at shooting birds.

For more of my birds see https://public.fotki.com/Alirat/nature/

North island Tom tit

This little bird was shot on a trip to Tiritirimatangi - a bird sanctuary in the Hauraki gulf. It was unafraid and kept hopping ahead keeping its beady eye on us. This was taken with my old 350D at 60mm and I have a feeling it was my large Sigma lens (judging by the Bokeh) which I regret parting with to this day.

Fantail

Fantails are also friendly birds - well not really they are waiting for the juicy insects we kick up with our feet - but they tend to dart about so are hard to capture. You take what you can get. This is shot with my Canon 70D with 135mm zoom lens at f6.3

Silvereye or Waxeye

One of my many garden birds. These birds were frequent visitors to my bird table and hung out in groups.

Blackbird

Ah the humble blackbird. Another garden shot.

Kakerori

The image quality is pretty bad on this - very grainy and quite soft - so I do apologise. This little guy though is a very rare bird. We went to the Island of Atiu in the Cook Islands where the amazing Birdman George is bringing a lot of species back from extinction. I had the great big lens which is way too heavy for me, the heat was oppressive and the camera struggled to focus in the low light. But to see these birds was a thrill. They are very shy but Birdman George calls them and they come to him! This one is called George.

Kingfisher

Another Atiu bird, but one that we are familiar with here in New Zealand. The day was hot and George was telling us how the local people no longer farm pineapple because the can’t get it exported with no regular shipping traffic. They tore up the pineapple plantations and planted Pinus radiate, an ecological disaster in his opinion.

The population of Atiu is only about 450 folks and they have no tourism to speak of because there is a water issue (not enough). This was all related to us as we watched the Kingfishers.

The Pacific Pigeon

An Atiu Pacific Pigeon perched right above us. I was actually a bit happy with this shot. There was better light and the bird was a little closer. It did not seem afraid of us and Birdman George chatted to it as an old mate.

Baby Greenfinch

Back to New Zealand birds of the garden variety. I probably should call this a Greenfinch juvenile, using proper ornithological terms. But hey, I never fitted in with the Ornithological Society here in Auckland. I had a little birdtables that Chris had set up in the garden at Woodside Rd and sparrows, greenfinches and waxes visited every day.

Spoonbills

Spponbills took up residence in the bird sanctuary at Ambury Park in Mangere Bridge and made my life complete. I don’t know why these birds are so fascinating to me. They are not super friendly and it is very hard to get close to them.

Caspian Terns

Mr and Mrs Tern were having a bit of a domestic dispute when I took this. The male was doing his best to charm the female, but she was unimpressed. I watched them for ages at a little beach next to Cornwallis.

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