Saturday, 25 September 2010


Last Friday I visited a spot on the river a little further down than my usual post. There was a couple of shags fishing and after I sat down to observe a few more arrived. Two were Little Shags (with white on them) and three were Little Black Shags. The Little Black Shags arrived singly but teamed up to hunt as a group which was interesting to watch. The Little Shags were more independent and one quickly made himself known as the boss and privvy to the best spot on the rock, pushing the other birds off.
All the shags had to take a break now and then to dry their feathers holding their wings out to speed up the process. Breakfast was made up of some large blenny type fish or what we used to call cockabullies when I was a kid.

Nga Manu Exhibition

The "Nga Manu" exhibition opened at the Whakatane Museum Gallery Last Night. I had two large paintings in it plus a collection of eight small assemblage collages in my "Curved Wall Collection." Here are 3 from the series. Owl Widget


It was a great night & the exhibition was well received. It was lovely to exhibit with some great artists whose work I really admire, Raymond Ching in particular. "Nga Manu" runs until October 31st.

Ups and Downs

As I mentioned life has been a roller coaster lately. I travelled to Auckland on Monday to my Auntys funeral which was very sad. She was quite young and I'll always remember her as a real lady and a beautiful and caring person. I remember going to her husbands funeral about four years ago and on the way out of town we saw a large white heron at Thornton. Not a common bird anywhere in NZ really and certainly not often seen here. And in a strange coincidence I saw another at Matata on Monday as we travelled to my Auntys farewell. I'm not really a spiritual person but it was a bit weird all the same.

Biodiversity photo contest

The last two weeks have been a real roller coaster ride. I got some great news on the 10th September - I won the International year of Biodiversity Photo competition run by the Dept of Conservation, Forest and Bird, NIWA & UNESCO. Judges were Kim Westerskov, Craig Potton and Norman Heke of Te Papa. And to top it off DOC flew me down to Wellington, put me up in a swanky hotel and took me to the awards night at Zealandia! All that and a cheque for $1,300. I had a sore arm from pinching myself to see if it was real. Here's my winning photo.

I had a great day in our capital city shopping & visiting the art galleries and was even given a tour of the DOC building, an eco friendly design that was full of friendly people. It was all wonderful til the flight home. The weather had been a bit dodgy but nothing major until I was 20kms southeast of the Whakatane airport when the weather turned very violent very suddenly. We spent 20 mins circling the airport being tossed like a salad waiting for an opportunity to land. Troy was waiting in the carpark with the car rocking in the wind gusts as he watched the rain blown in sideways along the runway. My parents listened to the plane fly low over their house more than once as I sat a couple of hundred feet above them gripping the armrests in a cold sweat. When we finally landed it was without incident but there was some very relieved passengers I can tell you. " Welcome to Whakatane, we hope you enjoyed your flight." YEAH RIGHT!!!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Shots of the Day

A gloomy, mainly wet day today but it had its share of redeeming moments. Standing near the riverbank I captured a few frames of a passing Harrier. Not great on their own but a montage of three images made a pretty cool pic. The young hawks are dark chocolate coloured and get paler as they age so this one has a few years under its belt. The Kaka Beak is in flower at the moment and has been discovered by resident tui and bellbirds in the last week. I have been waiting for a fine day so I can photograph the irridescence in the plumage of the tui but the weather has not been co-operating.
Amazing colour in the Kaka Beak flowers!
The dude below could be easily mistaken for a sparrow, in fact it is often called a Hedge Sparrow. Technically it is a different family and more correctly termed a Dunnock.
In my last shot a female Blackbird hides among the Bluebells. I'm hanging out for the sun to come out again! Maybe tommorrow.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Starling scrap.

I've been a bit slow on the blogs lately - because someone has used our total monthly allowance of 20 gigabytes so I'm down to less than dial up speed til the end of the week. Exasperating! But the weather has been pretty crap so I haven't taken many photos anyway. I snapped these two fighting over the rights to inhabit a starling box at my Mums. Shame about the concrete wall backdrop. On the brighter side I had a photo published in the New Zealand Geographic - Yahoo! Unfortunately it was only 8.5 cms wide. Whoever said size doesn't matter wasn't meaning anything less than 7 inches.
Anyway, more posts coming when I get my broadband back.