The North Island exclusive files: big city

This is a continuation from the previous article, which you can find here: sea, trees and volcanoes. Today, we are in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand. We’ll be watching planes and birds at the airport, and we’ll lie in the mud to shoot grebes and rails. In the end, we’ll spend one fantastic sunset around the gannet colony in Muriwai, a delightful ending for a great one-year adventure in kiwiland.

Welcome!

Plane and bird spotting at Auckland Airport

Puketutu Island

Puketutu is a small island in South Auckland, linked to the mainland at all times by a causeway. There, I discovered a pond with lots of birds: spoonbills, ducks… and New Zealand grebes (Poliocephalus rufopectus), a species I wanted to photograph better. Signs along the lake warned against touching the water (let alone swimming!), as it was a discharge pond for the local wastewater treatment plant… urgh, icky. Let’s say it moderately scared me, but didn’t prevent me from lying on the rocky shore to take pictures of birds at eye-level! Both times I biked from my residence in Mangere Bridge, both times I got soaked, but both times were worth the effort, as I made some interesting images 🙂

Western Springs

A popular park in the city, with many tame birds. Lots of problems with people giving bread to birds (don’t do that), but lots of opportunities to approach birds closer than in usual circumstances.

North Shore

Last sunset in Muriwai

So there we were. My last days in New Zealand. Could I think of a better place to spend them than Muriwai? Hmmm, probably not. Thank you Carol for taking me there ❤

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BIRD INVENTORY

The North Island exclusive files: sea, trees and volcanoes

Hi again, and welcome to one of my last articles about New Zealand!

Today’s post presents a hodgepodge of places from the North Island, some you’ve seen before, some you haven’t, but with pictures never released on this blog before.
Our trip will start with a relaxing break in Napier, by the Pacific Ocean. From there, we’ll cross the Ahimanawa Range to spend a cloudy day in the Redwoods of Rotorua. Our next destination will be the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park, before moving back to Auckland, the largest city in the country, in a second article. There, we’ll be watching planes and birds at the airport, and we’ll lie in the mud to shoot grebes and rails. In the end, we’ll spend one fantastic sunset around the gannet colony in Muriwai, a delightful ending for a great one-year adventure in kiwiland.

Welcome!

Napier

My time in Napier was short, as I was in transit between Castlepoint and Whirinaki. Cities are not really my cup of tea, but I enjoyed the museum and the surf of the ocean.

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