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Burrowscoping

Seabird science is glamorous. I spend a lot of time lying down, face-first in the mud, with my arm in a hole in the ground. Like so: At the moment, these holes in the ground sometimes have Grey-faced petrel chicks in them. And while the old ‘shove your arm in and find out’ method often works, there are also burrows where it’s difficult to know […]

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The Miracle Bird

On the 20th of September I had one of those moments. One of those moments of pure joy and excitement at seeing a new species of bird for the first time. It’s always like a bubble in my chest that just won’t burst, and to be honest there were a few tears at the corners of my eyes. This moment was particularly special, because the […]

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Get distracted

Photography is about focus. I’m not apologising for that pun. Obviously images being sharp is a good start. But to get good, sharp images, it’s also important to be concentrated on what you’re doing. The number of times I’ve quickly swapped subjects without quite changing my camera settings to keep up with the change, and had slightly soft images as a result, is…high. I end […]

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Burgess impressions

A few weeks ago I was supremely fortunate to spend a few nights on Burgess Island in the Mokohinau group to help out with seabird research. We were thwarted by the weather for two days, which meant that our trip ended up being a bit shorter than planned, but it was wonderful nonetheless. So where is Burgess? Right out on the edge of the Hauraki […]

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Thoughts on Birds in Flight

Can you tell this blog was written today, in a bit of a hurry? Usually I have a buffer of blog posts that are scheduled to run – at the moment I don’t. I have a lot of exciting posts that I will share soon, but I want to do them justice. This week has been quite difficult, and I haven’t had the time to […]

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Tools of the Trade

This year so far has been nothing short of amazing. My research takes me to wild and wonderful places on a regular basis – being a biologist definitely suits my need for adventure! But I’m also a photographer, and oftentimes I find myself getting a little frustrated. There are experiences that I can’t translate into photos, and they’re often the most thrilling, moving ones. Like […]

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Choosing photos for competitions

The New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year competition closes this week. Which means for the past month, I’ve been trawling through my galleries from the past year and agonising.   I hate choosing competition entries. It’s really, really difficult.   We like our photos for many different reasons – and one is obviously because they’re technically good, composed well, all the things that go into […]

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Western Springs

Western Springs is very close to where I live in Auckland. It’s a big park with a (kinda nasty in places…although not too nasty because there’s eels in there) lake and it’s home to a lot of birdlife. Including a flock of Royal Spoonbills, which are not very common, and self-introduced from Australia in the early 1900’s. For the amount of photographic opportunities that Western Springs presents, […]

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Motuihe

I spent last weekend on Motuihe looking for penguins. Because my own fieldwork isn’t tiring enough, obviously. The great thing about helping out with other people’s fieldwork is there’s no stress involved, and I usually have free hands/time to take photos as well. And Motuihe is a wonderfully birdy pest-free island. And it’s been a long time since I’ve wandered around with the sole intention […]

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Levitating fantails

The last three weeks weeks have been hectic and I’ve only just realised that I hadn’t written a blog for today. So here’s two photos I took this morning!   Fantails are great photographic subjects because they’re so confiding. They’re curious and tend to hang around a lot longer than other species. They’re also a challenge because they move so quickly! The technique to use with […]