Saturday, 30 April 2016

Muriwai Gannet Colony (New Zealand)

I was working in Auckland yesterday so decided to stay for the weekend and visit the Muriwai Gannet Colony and Miranda Shorebird Centre, both less than an hour's drive from central Auckland.

Muriwai is one of the black sand beaches on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand (see map).

Muriwai Beach, North Island New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 @ 16mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/125

It is the home of a large colony of Australasian Gannets, only a few hundred metres easy walk from the car park at the beach. About 1200 pairs of gannets breed here over summer but by this time of the year there are very few birds resident in the colony.

Muriwai Gannet Colony, North Island New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/1000

Muriwai Gannet Colony, North Island New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 @ 28mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/250

However, there were still a few remaining, some with juveniles still yet to fledge (and, unfortunately, a few recently dead juveniles)

Australasian Gannet, Muriwai Gannet Colony, New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (+1.4x adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/800
Australasian Gannet, Muriwai Gannet Colony, New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2000

and enough adults flying around to provide some in flight targets

Australasian Gannet, Muriwai Gannet Colony, New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (+1.4x adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1000
Australasian Gannet, Muriwai Gannet Colony, New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (+1.4x adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/640
Australasian Gannet, Muriwai Gannet Colony, New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (+1.4x adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1250
Australasian Gannet, Muriwai Gannet Colony, New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @130mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/2000

as well as some shenanigans on the ground.

Australasian Gannet, Muriwai Gannet Colony, New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/2000

I found one 'outsider' among the roosting gannets.

Brown Booby (immature) + Australasian Gannets, Muriwai Gannet Colony, New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @200mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/1600
Brown Booby (immature), Muriwai Gannet Colony, New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (+1.4x adaptor), ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/500

and I managed to get one half decent shot of it as it flew away (unfortunately I had the 70-200mm zoom attached to the camera and no time to swap over to a longer lens).

Brown Booby (immature), Muriwai Gannet Colony, New Zealand
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @200mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/2500

still to come...the search for Waybill at the Miranda Shorebird Centre.

1 comment:

  1. Vow derful to visit this colony and your pgotos are Marvellous.

    ReplyDelete

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