The Orokonui Ecosanctuary near Dunedin.

A good day-trip from Dunedin is the Orokonui Ecosanctuary, a 307ha nature reserve surrounded by a predator-proof fence (built in 2007). The forest is being restored to its former glory safe from the ravages of rats, rabbits, deer,stoats etc. If you want to get those great photographs then be prepared to spend the day here, walking the paths at least twice. You will not be disappointed and the entry fee supports one of the key wildlife preservation and restoration methodologies of New Zealand: it is the first reserve I have entered through a double gate protected by security code; such are the dangers outside.

Once again a visit to my flickr feed will reveal some of the photographs obtained here; the feeders for tui and bellbirds are a great idea. They contain sugar solution and one can watch the birds feeding close-up - note the long tongue of the bellbird used for reaching nectar deep inside flowers. Remember that the birds are the main pollinators here - introduced wasps are a major problem.

NZ 17 (440)

It is nice to study the lovely tui up-close rather than peering at one high in a tree.

NZ 17 (448)

We had good views of South Island Kaka in the forest and Brown Creeper that had so far proven impossible to image clearly.
NZ 17 (190)
NZ 17 (521)

We were particularly pleased to get good views of the Takahe that live here. And this raises a tricky question - wild or captive? Being flightless they cannot leave (like the kaka) but are free to wander around the whole reserve). I`ll count it as a tick...

NZ 17 (275)

Other birds seen clearly included robin, New Zealand Pigeon, Rifleman, Fernbird, Fantail and Silvereyes. It was a good day of birding and the two million dollar fence was generally invisible.

No comments:

Post a Comment