Going feral in the weekend
What Ive found of late, is that it is harder to disconnect from the rest of the world, simply because connecting is now so much easier. It's a world now of tablets, smartphones and computers everywhere. So of late, I've started disconnecting completely- at least one day a week. Sunday is now my day for going feral. I disappear into a local nature reserve with nothing more than a daypack, some supplies and a camera.
The last hike was back into Okura. I figured that the actual rain would keep a lot of people away and I knew the secluded beach had a small population of NZ dotterels (tuturiwhatu). This small shore bird is actually endangered. So, it is kind of a special place to visit. Last weekend I had watched them with my son, from the edge of the beach with binoculars. This time around, I thought I'd try for some photos.
I guessed right with the rain keeping people away. So it was just a matter of hiking through the forest to reach the beach. Along the ridge lines the forest thinned out into manuka and tanekaha trees.
Down at the beach it was close to high tide. This means the shore birds were close enough to photograph, with sufficient patience. The trick so often is to try to shoot at their eye level. That means getting down low- or lying flat on damp sand. The bonus is you look a lot less threatening to the birds.
To start with, there's a couple of dotterel photos. The first is my favourite and required very little cropping.
The mature males are in their breeding colours
The beach also has a thriving population of oyster catchers
While the land contiguous to the beach had a lot of chaffinches...
and even the odd kingfisher
Keywords: oyster-catcher, dotterel, kingfisher, conservation, chaffinch, Environment and Ecology, endangered species, bird, tuturiwhatu
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