A photowalk and Bird of the Year

On alert

With longer days and the promise of warmer weather we’ve been getting out and about making the most of the opportunities outdoors. Earlier this month was the latest Scott Kelby worldwide photowalk and the Wellington event took place in Petone. This was the first time Keryn and Alayna have joined in and we set off from the Petone wharf as a family.

It quickly became apparent that walking with Alayna meant I would be working any photography around what Alayna wanted to do. Fair enough, as a 2 year old Alayna has a lot of impulses so if Dad wants to take a photograph over there and Alayna would prefer to be doing something elsewhere then Dad needs to adjust. So adjust I did and in the end we adjusted the planned walk around Alayna’s desire to first play in the sand and then play on the playground later on.

Alayna and the sand
Alayna and the sand
Lets all walk on the beach
Lets all walk on the beach
At the playground
At the playground
Taking a seat
Taking a seat

We were never going to make it around the whole walk as planned so we turned back after the playground and made our way back to the end point which was the Sprig & Fern on Jackson Street. There we had a drink or two and ate chips and pizza. Alayna ate chips, lots of chips. Alayna would like everyone to know she likes chips. We caught up with a few friends form the walk and also said hello to Janice and Mike Hay who just happened to turn up as well.

We’ve also been to Zealandia and managed to show Alayna a few interesting animals. First up was a nesting kereru that had chosen a nest site very close to the main track and was easily visible. There was a small group of people having a look and we got to also have a good look and show Alayna the kereru calmly sitting on the nest.

Nesting kereru
Nesting kereru

Moving on we found a chilled out tuatara sunning itself at Tui Terrace. We could get quite close without disturbing the tuatara though Alayna declared she was scared so we made sure to stay at a distance that was comfortable for both wildlife and daughter.

Checking out the tuatara
Checking out the tuatara

More walking took us to bridges that Alayna liked to stomp over and lots of plants and flowers to feel and smell. We saw more birds including a couple of obviously well feed kereru feeding in a small kowhai tree.

Feeding kereru
Feeding kereru
Kowhai in flower
Kowhai in flower

We were running out of time so made sure we were on our way back to the main gate before it closed for the day. Alayna and Keryn checked out the gecko enclosure while I wandered nearby to check out some calling tieke. I was lucky enough to see a pair jumping and flying in-between a couple of trees and ignoring me as they investigated nooks and crannies for bugs.

Looking for food
Looking for food
Tieke calling
Tieke calling

Which leads to the last point, its Bird of the Year time again. Forest and Bird have for a number of years now run a light hearted popularity contest where the public can vote on which New Zealand native bird deserves to be bird of the year. Zealandia has thrown its might behind the kaka this year and currently its a respectable second behind the bar tailed godwit. If you want to see the contestants and perhaps learn a little about our native birds head to the Bird of the Year website and choose a favourite, you’ve got until 5pm on Sunday October 25th to vote.

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