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.


Plane and bird spotting at Auckland Airport

Australasian swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus)

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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7 thoughts on “The North Island exclusive files: big city

    1. Thank you Eliza, I know they are a different kind of “bird”… but I’ve always been fascinated by planes! Not that I feel completely at ease up there, but there something magical about them. I hope you don’t mind me including them here 😉


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