Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Nordmans Greenshank Photographic Library Version 2.

This is version 2 of the Nordmans Greenshank photographic library. Above photo and 2 below were taken at Krabi Estuary, southern Thailand, mid December 2011.

Photo above and 4 below were taken at Krabi Estuary southern Thailand, early December 2011.

Photo above and the 8 below were taken at Krabi Estuary, southern Thailand, early March 2011.

As you can see by these photos this individual was concentrating on feeding and so I was able to get relatively close without causing any disturbance to the bird. Also as you can see this individual was feeding primarily on small white crabs.

The photo above shows a small part of the estuary at Krabi with a nice back drop where I managed to obtain the photos above prior to high tide.

Monday, 13 February 2012

SBS Photographic Library Version 2.

Had a little time to spare and so currently trying to catch up and update all photographic libraries. This is version 2 of the Spoon Billed Sandpiper photographic library. Above photo is from Khok Kham, Inner Gulf of Thailand, December 2011.

Photo above shows an adult bird with the photo below showing a 1st summer bird. Both of these photos were taken at Yangkou, Rudong provence, China, August 2011.

Photo above shows a 2-3 day old chick in the wild at Chukotka, Russia July 2011 with image below showing you a nest, June 2011.

Photo above shows you a male taken in June with the photo below showing you a different male.

Above and below shows you vimeo - video clips taken in Chukotka, June 2011.

Photo above and 4 below were taken at Yangkou, Rudong provence, China during early May 2011.

Photo and 2 video's below was taken at Khok Kham salt pans, Gulf of Thailand, March 2008.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Wrybill - Photographic Library - Version 1

Wrybill (Anarhynchus Frontalis) This unique wader with it’s laterally asymmetrical bill is an endemic species to New Zealand where it nests only on the braided rivers of the south island. Big flocks of Wrybill can be seen during the summer months on the estuaries of the north island. Up to 40% of the total population of this species can be seen on the Firth of Thames inter-tidal mudflats especially in the bay and off shore mudflats in and around Miranda.

What Wrybill lacks in colouration and migrations from the arctic breeding Waders it more than makes up for in subtleness, uniqueness and pure character.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Hauraki Gulf Pelagic - New Zealand.

After a late night return from Whitianga it was an early start for our second consecutive pelagic and so today we had to head for to the sleepy fishing village of Leigh (this is all to similar isn't it). This time we were in the Hauraki Gulf which is a 4 hour drive north of Miranda. When we arrived at 08:00 hrs the weather was better for being out at sea with overcast conditions & a good strong on shore wind. We headed out and for the first hour I slept on one of the bunk beds but woke up just before we arrived at the first location. This was in some what slightly shallower waters above a reef, we started a slick and chumming and within 20 minutes we had a nice collection of Cooks Petrels coming close in and White Faced Stormies feeding off the back of the boat and in the slick.

Yesterday was the first time I had seen White Faced Storm Petrel and so again today it was good to see them but especially as we had the target species in amongst them.

This trip was all about 1 species and 1 species alone for me and that species was New Zealand Storm Petrel. I was really pleased to see this once presumed extinct species and I have to say it is a real cracker & that I can't rate this species highly enough. We got some great views but they were very difficult to get good and sharp photos of. We had around 7-8 individuals as they came in around the boat in to the slick in and amongst the White Faced Stormies.

A Great bird, other species seen today included many more Cooks Petrels, Grey Ternlets, huge rafts of Bullers Shearwaters with at least 11 Black Petrels sat on the water off the back of the boat late afternoon. I would like to go back and see this species again one day. We was at sea for just on 11 hours and then had the return drive back to Miranda. This was a good pelagic trip in terms of sightings but could have done with longer whilst chumming and watching the slick.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Whitianga Pelagic - New Zealand.

As the Miranda Field Course came to an end and everybody departed so somebody new arrived. This new person was Stuart. Stuart and I had planned to have a long weekend together (5 days) and the main aim was to go out on a couple of pelagic trips. The first pelagic was out of Whitianga. This pelagic came about by pure luck as a Dutch birder I met at Miranda one day advised me that he was going out on this particular pelagic as it is the best for seeing rafts of Pycrofts Petrels near the Mercury Islands. Above Image shows you a Cooks Petrel of which many were seen.

We were unlucky with the weather as the sea state was calm like a mill-pond and there was no wind to help give the birds a lift. We in-fact struggled for Pycrofts apart from a group of 6 that were callled as Pycrofts that were flushed up by our boat. I must say that they looked plainer-blander looking in the face & lacking a strong eyebrow and maybe more compact but I really do not know or have enough experience with these 2 species (Cooks & Pycrofts) and I must admit I find Cookalari Petrels very difficult to get my head around. The bird above seems to very bland and the eyebrow seems to appear very feint but is presumed to be a Cooks Petrel. Image below more of a typical Cooks, I believe ?

Image above and below shows a Black Petrel. When seen on the deck close-by I find these to be a smart bird with a gentile appearance. We had several of these around the boat feeding on the chum as well as several White Faced Storm Petrels. Fairy Prion was a new species for me this trip as well. We had many Bullers and Flesh Footed Shearwaters.

This pelagic trip was arranged through Wrybill Birding Tours NZ and I must say that they are excellent at what they do. When I first arrived at Miranda and asked around on who people would advise to arrange a pelagic with it was the same names that just kept being mentioned, Sav Saville, Brent Stephenson = Wrybill Tours. Sav Saville was present on this pelagic trip and was helpful throughout and it was nice just to chat with him. He had a few clients on-board who were on a 3 week guided tour with him and they were all full of smiles and compliments about Sav himself, the pace of the tour and the success rate in which they were seeing all of the desired species. When Stuart and I departed Miranda for this Pelagic, Keith the site manager of Miranda asked who was leading this Pelagic trip and when we advised him it was Sav Saville he just smiled and said " Your in good hands today". So if you are in New Zealand then don't look around for pelagic tour operators just click on the link http://www.wrybill-tours.com/index.htm sit back, relax and go with the best pelagic tour operator in new Zealand.