Work treated us to a day out of the office to kick back and relax. We went to the Auckland Zoo. Naturally, I took some shots.
Sitting outside the house with friends, this poor little guy hit the window at speed and dropped to the ground. Knocked out for a minute or two, he slowly came to,moving his head, wings, up to a staggering standing position – no doubt a little scared of the predicament he had woken up to -and then flew off into a nearby tree to shake off the rest of the event.
One of the main draw cards to Muriwai for tourists is the Gannet colony. Perhaps a little less known, or viewed are the smaller, but equally impressive Tern colony that rests a little lower down the cliff line on the south hills of the beach. Once owners of prime real-estate, these ‘large swallows of the ocean’ were booted out of their areas by the gannets in the 1970’s when they started nesting on the mainland. When you see the size difference between the two, its no surprise they no occupy the smaller ledges of the cliffs. That being said, all bullying aside, both groups of birds appear to thrive on these rocky ledges.
Sleek and quick, Terns are terrible nest makers. Or perhaps its not so much that they are terrible, but more that they hardly even bother. Around the world, they lay eggs on very sparse nests or branches – some on nothing at all. With clutches of 1-3 eggs, they usually group together in mass. Interestingly, they are even found at Antarctica. Although coastal sea birds, their plumage is not waterproof, so they dont rest in the sea.
Sadly, both in NZ and around the world, several species of Tern are endangered. We (Humans) didn’t help, buy eating masses of their eggs, and as in New Zealand, introduced species like Magpies have added to falling numbers of our Black Fronted Terns.
To finish on a positive note the white ones at Muriwai seem to be doing well and in mass!
Pelecanus conspicillatus, the Australian pelican. Shot at the Sydney zoo a few years back on my old Sony A230 DSLR. With a wingspan of ~2.5m, these guys are fairly large birds. Interestingly, you can tell if they are a part of a breeding couple or not by the colour of their bill and circles around eyes. Protected in Australia, they are lucky enough not to be on the endangered list, although some of their native waterland’s have been taken over by our recreational sports.
As above, shot on the Sony Alpha A230 and resized/converted to black & white in Gimp.
One of the more well known colourful birds, I have always found it funny how many animals have the male being bright and exuberant and the female otherwise plain. Of course the majority of examples of this are to show off and attract a mate.
Shot on the Sony A230, converted from RAW in UFRaw and final edit in Gimp.
Up to old Albany Village for dinner this evening I caught this snap of one of the local art works.
Now down the road from the Albany Mega Mall, the old village used to be locally famous for having a mass of roosters living and walking the zone. Sadly now days none can be found. You will find ducks and a cat colony… The roosters were culled and relocated around a decade ago.
My other memory of the village, back when it was rural and the tip of the North Shore was picking for pears in the local park. Open to the public, I assume it was once an orchard.
We walked this area after dinner and I was happy to find many of the pear trees were still there and in fruit…desert!
Image wise, shot on the galaxy, edited in afterfocus.
I’m pretty sure ‘Oi!’ was the seagulls statement at me as I snapped him in this photo the other day in town.
Summer is sure on its way in Auckland these last few days – of course having faulty air-conditioning at work, taking us to 28+ degrees helps, as does running around in level 2’s in the evening.
Image wise, snapped on the Sony Nex and edited in Gimp. Editing consisted of cropping to square format, desaturating all but the red, and bumping up the sharpening slightly.
As Mondays often are, its been a long day, so I will aim for more tomorrow.