Pukaha Mount Bruce

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-43-48-pmWesley and I visited Pukaha Mount Bruce this afternoon whilst Mike was helping some friends on a farm nearby.  Mount Bruce is a wildlife restoration centre that focuses on reestablishing endangered and rare New Zealand birds.  The centre spans some 940 hectares of dense native forest and is a beautiful place to hike and enjoy a native forest.

We spent a few hours walking around taking in all the gorgeous colours and sounds.  At the moment the forest is absolutely teeming with cicada.  The sounds of summer calling in the humid air!

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-34-35-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-37-14-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-38-08-pm Conservation has been taking place within the park since the 1960’s and is maintained by international volunteers throughout the seasons.screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-38-43-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-38-55-pmHere you’ll find encounters with endangered (and rare white) kiwi, eels, and quite a few beautiful birds including: kokako, kaka, hihi, takahe, kakariki and whio.screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-34-18-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-27-at-9-56-55-amThe kaka particularly captivate me.  The dark wine colours of their feathers paired with their cheeky personalities make them irresistible to watch.  There are roughly 160 kaka in the forest that are all free to travel and are indeed quite wild.  They have an impressive range of calls…some almost gremlin like and others quite sweet.  screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-40-42-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-41-55-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-42-08-pm

If you are near Masterton, I highly recommend checking this place out.  It’s not to be missed!

Walking.

When things aren’t too busy on the farm I often go for a walk with the Tess (the dog).  This time I brought my dslr and crossed my fingers that we’d run into some birds.

Bringing the dog was such a bad call.  I forgot that she likes to bark and chase birds!

We did manage to see a few cockatoos, galas and mountain ducks.   A few times I tried to dodge the dog and sneak over a fence to unsuspecting birds, but the dog thwarted my plans.  Suddenly she was tearing off ahead of me barking and killing any chance I had of capturing these birds up close.  I will admit there was some serious cussing on my part a few times.

Afterward we continued walking and ended up at Brian and Tessa’s (a few kilometres away from our house) and we ran into Chocco.

Tess loves Chocco.  They are like a pair of teenagers around each other, chasing, flirting, fighting.  I get a kick out of watching them chase each other…