Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Auckland Zoo and New lens

I've been in Blenheim for three years now.  It's gone really quickly.  Every time I get back to Auckland, I try to go to the Auckland Zoo, as its the one place I do miss.  There are no zoo's down here, and it's such a great way to practise photography, and it's so pleasant walking around seeing the animal and birdlife.

However, in the 3 years I've been in Auckland with my camera, it's rained.  And the Zoo was out of the question each time because of it.

So last week, it's summer, we're in drought, it's really unlikely to rain - so a trip to the zoo was planned with my friend Bron.  As we left to go, it started.... raining!  By the time we got to the zoo it was raining hard.  Bron had an umbrella fortunately so I was able to use my new Sigma 120-400mm lens with the umbrella shielding it.

So I got a few images of wet straggly animals before it fined up...  Wet bird...

Wet Tortoise...

Wet Spider Monkeys.  This one is saying 'OMG - Look at the state of you to his mate underneath..

Who is having a bad hair day after all the rain.

And this one is the Thinker...

As we walked to the next exhibit, the sun came out, and I saw this leaf on the ground, with the sun shining through, giving a lovely reflection on the concrete.  Bron was quick to point out that I'm nuts - I pay $25 to go to the Zoo and I take photos of dead leaves...

The Golden Lion Tamrin was out enjoying the sun..

And all the lemurs were in this pose - I'm sure they were trying to dry themselves out.

The Orangutans in the Auckland Zoo, love covering themselves up in sheets and blankets.  I thought this particularly looked like the Orangautan had perhaps evolved, embraced religion, and now wears a burkha!  There IS an orangutan underneath that blue sheet!

The main reason I wanted to visit the Auckland Zoo was their new Rainforest Aviary.  It had been upgraded about 3 years prior, but hadn't quite opened before I moved down here.  I was well rewarded by this Kea...  The Kea is New Zealand's' Mountain Parrot and are in decline.  They are stunningly beautiful, but very cheeky birds. Cars have had all the rubber stripped away from their windshields while the owners were skiing by these birds!

The Kereru - or NZ Wood Pigeon.  I was taking the photo of the nursery web spider when this bird came flying up at us.  I thought it was going to land on my lens or head.  It landed right next to my arm and proceeded to take much interest in the chocolate bar I was eating!

This spider was as big as my hand - massive, had never seen one so big in NZ before!

Here's another shot of the Wood Pigeon.  I had to take a few photos on my cellphone as he was too close to me to use the big lens.

He was also intrigued with Bron.  But I think he could see himself reflected in her glasses!

Onto the little blue Penguin.  You can see these little penguins swimming around our coastline quite often.  This one has got an injury and only one fin.  

So it can only swim around in circles!

Love watching the sealions swim past...

Then the Baboon family.  These animals are really shy and don't look up at the humans watching them. In fact they often turn their back on us.  I don't blame them really.  I'd hate to be gawked at all day..

One last shot of the giraffe before heading back home.  All these images were handheld and taken with the 120-400mm Sigma APO lens.  I'm really pleased with the quality this ne lens is giving.

Next Zoo I'll be visiting with be the Singapore one at the end of May. And yes - I'll be taking my big lens (big boy) with me :)

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