Book proofs arrive – great excitement

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Before committing to book printing, a good look over the proofs is essential. It is always an exciting stage in the book production, and allows us to get our first look at what the book will actually look like. We are VERY pleased with the colour reproduction, and are certain the final book will be just beautiful. Below is a phone picture Jane took of me today poring over these proofs, in readiness to return them to China, to be used in the press room.

Book 4 proofs s

Kaikoura – Wildlife Mecca

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A final trip to Kaikoura to obtain pictures for our next book was made over Easter 2018 and was a big success. We obtained the pictures we went for and more, even the dolphins put on a good display for us. Two new species for me in NZ were photographed on the road trip south – a black kite near Blenheim and a hoary-headed grebe at Lake Elterwater, near Ward – both Australian birds.

Dolphin

Godwit flagged AJD again departs on migration on March 25

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Our Whanganui special, AJD, has been on our Whanganui River Estuary since early January and again has departed on migration on March 25 in late afternoon for his 11th circuit since being banded. A bird of amazing timing, as time-precise as the rising moon or setting sun. On March 18, 2018, I achieved a close approach to him and those he was with, by crawling across the mudflat for some closeup photos. He is a real stunner when fully dressed in his breeding plumage – see below.

AJD March 2018

New Edition of our book “BIRDS New Zealand beauty like no other”

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A new bird book is in the making and we expect to have it ready for release by August 2018. Our previous books have sold out quicker than expected and we have seen a huge demand for them over the last few months. In total nearly 10,000 NZ bird books have been sold. The new book is based on our previous book, but is fully revised, has 20 extra pages (now 320 in total), has about 80 more bird species, detailed or referenced (now over 290 in total), and around 75 new photos (now over 700 in total). New pages include information on Skeletal Anatomy, Flyways, Vagrant Birds and more. This is a very exciting time for us and we thank all who have purchased our books making the decision to produce a new one easy.

Below is a picture of the proposed cover for the new book, just draft at this stage, as changes may be done.

BIRDS NZ beauty like no other - COVER Book 4 black

 

South Island Birding Trip

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The South Island is a great birders destination and we have just enjoyed two and half weeks of birding at its best. We achieved good photos of all our target birds and even a possible cover picture for our next book – a wrybill on its nest – such an iconic New Zealand bird. A sample picture is below, but this is not the one we plan to use. With perfect weather and a mountain backdrop to each day’s birding what a great country we live in.

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Hokitika Talk – Regent Theatre

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I am to give an illustrated talk at the Regent Theatre in Hokitika on Friday, October 27, at 7 pm. See poster below.

 

PS. The evening went very well, a good crowd and we sold four cartons of books. The people of Hokitika looked after us very well – what a great little town.

 

Brief Synopsis of Talk

“To photograph every bird species in New Zealand” is the theme of the illustrated talk to be given by Paul Gibson of Whanganui. Paul will tell how his attempts have gone to date and share with you many of his adventures along the way. The journey has led him to many and varied locations including distant islands across wild oceans. Learn something about photography and see close up some of our most beautiful birds, including three specialities of the West Coast. Not a scientific talk and suitable for any age group.

Hokitika Evening 27 October 2017

 

Our Smallest Arctic Wader

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A visit to the Manawatu River Estuary on Saturday produced a red-necked stint, the smallest Arctic wader that comes to New Zealand. Only sparrow sized, its migration journey is one of the wonders of the natural world. This bird was showing breeding plumage so not sure if it is a bird that overwintered here or if for small reason it has returned early from the north. Such a little beauty it was a joy to see.

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Kingfishers in Winter

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Most winters I try to spend some time in a hide down on the Whanganui River bed, as it is the time of the year when kingfishers congregate. This last Saturday was not overly successful but I did get an odd flight shot, and I did witness and photograph a kingfisher coughing up pallets of undigested food. They are one of New Zealand’s most colourful birds, their brilliant blues are striking.

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Waterfalls – adding to New Zealand’s beauty

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A weekend in Tauranga after much heavy rain meant the waterways were full, and the waterfalls spectacular. Friends we were staying with suggested we check out the McLaren Falls, just 30 minutes drive from Tauranga. What a great place, surrounded by beautiful trees, and just beginning to show autumn colours. Well worth the visit if waterfalls are your thing.

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The Marvel of Migration

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We have a godwit who visits us in Whanganui each summer, or at least has done for the last 10 years, as I have previously reported in my posts. I checked out the Whanganui River estuary yesterday and the 10 godwits there all look like they are ready to go, and among them our AJD flagged bird, now bright red/orange in colour and laden with fat, ready for the long migration to the northern hemisphere. Below is a picture taken on my phone through the spotting scope. It is a marvel how these birds know the exact time, as AJD usually leaves here on March 22 for Foxton, from where he migrates north on the 25th. I plan to be in Foxton for that date, as I have never actually witnessed his departure on migration.

 

LATER NOTE: AJD actually migrated this year direct from Whanganui, on March 24. I was fortunate to be able to photograph him just before he left, at around 5 pm, see picture below.

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