The Ethics of Wildlife Photography

This week BirdsNZ – the Ornithological Society of New Zealand – released a set of guidelines for bird photography. It’s a really good document that covers the welfare of both birds and people. It also covers the use of drones for photography, which I think is extremely important. Drones are quite helpful for monitoring populations of some species of birds, but they also pose a […]


Smartphone Photography

I’ve been taking a lot of photos with my phone this year. Partly because the quality of images out of an iPhone 5 vastly surpass that of the 4, and partly because it’s easy and on hand when I’m in the field. I was warned that I would have difficulty taking photos of my own fieldwork… and the times I’ve taken my DSLR with me […]


Tawharanui – take two!

Our last trip to Tawharanui wasn’t too successful in finding any Grey-faced petrels. Which is not surprising, given that it was the middle of the pre-breeding exodus, when all the breeding birds are feeding up before they have the long stint of incubation. Grey-faced petrels have an extremely long breeding season – they take around 55 days to incubate their eggs, a task shared by […]


Pest Free Kaipatiki – First steps

Predator Free 2050 is a big goal for New Zealand. How do we get rid of the worst introduced pests at a national scale? Pest eradication on isolated islands is one thing – they’re far away and it’s difficult for pests to re-invade once they’re gone. But on our mainland, where there are fewer barriers for movement, where people and their pets live? It’s a […]


More Albatross

Today’s post is just a bunch more photos from my trip with Monarch Wildlife Cruises, because everyone needs a weekly dose of seabirds! Also because I’m quite busy at the moment, so writing blog posts has to take a back seat to actual work. So – enjoy!



A few weekends ago I went up to Tawharanui Open Sanctuary for the evening to help out with some Grey-faced petrel banding. It was something I’d been trying to do since mid last year, but the dates had always coincided with me not being in Auckland. So it was nice to finally get up there and get to explore a bit! I’ve been to Tawharanui […]


Piece by piece

Remember the Wave? One of the risks of visiting wild places is putting your camera gear (and yourself, more importantly) in the way of unexpected events that can sometimes prove a little disastrous. But gear can be replaced – you cannot. I was lucky to only lose my camera gear – and even luckier to be able to replace it relatively painlessly. Well, most of […]



I think every conference I attend from now on will be a bit of a let-down compared to the BirdsNZ conference this year. After a weekend of great talks, we were treated to field-trips on Monday (the joys of a long weekend!). Nat and I were with the group that visited Pomona Island, a pest-free island on Lake Manapouri.   We’d left Te Anau in […]


The best thing to do in Dunedin

Without question, is a cruise with Monarch Wildlife Cruises. Dunedin has a lot going for it (and I’m seriously considering moving there in future…), but if you’re like me and you love nothing more than jumping on a boat to go and see some seabirds – go with Monarch. A one-hour wildlife cruise takes you out beyond Taiaroa Head to where the albatross skim the sea, […]


A week down south – Dunedin and Te Anau

I packed so much into the last week or so that it felt like much longer! A long-planned reunion in Dunedin combined with the BirdsNZ conference in Te Anau made for a great week of photography, birds, and general shenanigans (like jumping in Lake Te Anau at 7am while the air temperature flirts with 0°C). It was good to get out of the office, out […]