As well as kingfishers, black-fronted terns (Above) are also common visitors to the coast during the colder months, So lately I've found myself venturing to one of my favourite spots just out of Christchurch to photograph these handsome little birds. I got up early yesterday morning to continue my quest in capturing the terns, It was a beautiful day with soft Autumn lighting, and I spent the best part of the morning crawling after a group of roosting terns who would scatter every now and then as a dog or walker would venture to close to the resting flock. Keep an eye out for a black-fronted tern post!! I managed to see a white-winged black tern which was a first for me (uncommon Asian migrant)!
On the way back from photographing the terns I was reacquainted with an old friend, a black stilt Himantopus novaezelandiae (above), who I've been photographing in this area on and off for the past few years. Black stilts are endemic to New Zealand and are still considered the world's rarest wading bird!!! There were only 23 black stilts left in 1981. So it was a real pleasure to spend time photographing this beautiful bird who has been hanging out with it's more common cousins, pied stilts (below). Thanks to intensive management numbers are on the increase, according to a February 2010 estimate there was 85 black stilts in the wild.
Young mallard ducklings follow each other over the Lilly pads
Male California quail
Little blue penguin, Kaikoura, NZ
Shag Rock, one Christchurch's iconic natural formations will never be the same after the 6.3 magnitude earthquake which hit here on February the 22nd 2011. The photo on the right is what shag rock looked like before the quake and below are photos of Shag Rock now (Shag Pile)... I think it still has some charm and almost looks like a giant hand pushing up through the rubble (if you look hard enough)...