Birds of NZ App

Little Huia

Auckland University Press has just released its first app, based on the popular photographic guide Birds of New Zealand by Paul Scofield and Brent Stephenson. Birdwatchers can personalise the app with their own observations, building their own list of bird sightings. The ‘Bird Compare’ feature also allows them to compare two birds on the same screen (including recordings of variant bird calls) and Smart Search functionality supports bird identification by bird type, size, colour, physical features and habitat and can displayinformation on a region by region basis.

‘When traveling and on the road, the app is fantastic to quickly refer to,’ says Brent Stephenson, photographer for Birds of New Zealand. ‘It has all the text, photos, and distribution maps from the book, but probably the most useful feature in the field will be the audio clips now included.’

Author Paul Scofield says, ‘This will increase the opportunity for members of the general public to make remarkable findings, such as the recent instance that brought the reclassification of the thought-to-be-extinct, South Island kokako.’

If anyone thinks they have spotted something rare or unusual, they can report their discovery to the Records Appraisal Committee of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, which independently verifies sightings of rare birds from New Zealand.

So stop wasting your time with Angry Birds, and go get Birds of New Zealand!

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Infra Red

Little Huia

This is frame 0005 from a 7,200 shot infra red timelapse I captured yesterday, for the Ruru sequence from The BirdSong Preludes. My old mod’d 40D is unstoppable!

Relatedly when I was up at Whatipu last weekend shooting that sunset time-lapse, on the way down the hill I came very close to a Ruru/Morepork – it was maybe 2m away from me, and of course flew away as soon as I went to set up my camera but I am 99% sure its wings weren’t silent – I heard or felt infra sound, a very deep, low frequency thrum as it took off… quite beautiful!

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Kingfisher

Little Huia

Little Huia last night, shot with 5DmkIII and 100-400 F4.5-5.6 lens

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Signal Hill

Little Huia

Had a great shoot last night! The weather was looking dodgy but the forecast said no rain & thankfully it was right. I lugged my gear up the top of Signal Hill at Whatipu and set a timelapse running – this is four hours and 1,509 photos later…

Little Huia

Little Huia

Little Huia

Paratutai Island

Little Huia

Little Huia

I so love the colour shift as the sun sets – for about half an hour either side of actual sunset, witnessing the continuous gradient of changing light is about as close to religion as I get: four hours on top of a hill, watching colour drain from the sky & the stars slowly revealing themselves….

When was the last time you watched the sun set? And where?

Little Huia

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Lens Addict

I know I’ve made the comparison between lenses and microphones many time before, but I at last have access to a lens that can focus to the degree that my Telinga can!

Little Huia

If you have ever held a Canon 5D you’ll appreciate they are quite a chunky camera – if its in your camera bag you feel its weight, but it looks like a toy hanging off the back of this lens: its a Canon 400mm F2.8, the newer version of which is US$11k on bhphoto!

Little Huia

And no I don’t own it! But sincere thanks to Topic Rentals for enabling me – check their site for great lens and camera gear rentals

First thing I did was head up to the same spot that I have recorded a Tui twice before – there is a tree that if you wait long enough he returns to… And sure enough after about 15 minutes of shooting/recording and getting nothing much, he flew in, I stealthly reframed & focused & I shot some beautiful close up video of him singing! Stayed there for another hour and only got one more shot of him… Planning, patience and perseverance…

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