Day 2 of the trip was down to Dunedin, to stop at the Orokonui EcoSanctuary and Cloud Forest. You turn off at Waitati and take the old Mt Cargill Rd, winding up the hill to a surprising height. The sky was starting to clear and day warm up when I got there, so got changed, loaded up the camera bag and ventured in.
There are several short walks and a loop that takes a couple of hours. I didn’t have enough time for that so I walked to one feeding station, and saw a bellbird feeding on flax flowers close by
There are many native birds in and around the EcoSanctuary, its fence and pest free to protect the flightless birds, of which our Kiwi is one. Being nocturnal I didn’t see any but they left some footprints behind in soft soil the night before.
Headed back to the other feeding station and was delighted by this view down to Blueskin Bay and up the coast. Was a glorious day when the clouds broke up to let the sun through I got sunburnt a bit too!
Many other birds make the EcoSanctuary home, I saw sparrows come take a drink of nectar, as well as bees flying around (one in the bellbird shot above)
Of course the stars of the show are our natives, often shy and hard to see. Partly because they live in dense bush and are impossible to find unless they come out into the sunlight. Orokonui offers lovely opportunities to view them near the feeding stations, and I sat happily with my camera quite close for a good half an hour.
Several bellbirds were having a territorial fight right in front and even flying right above me. I love how you can see the nectar drinking tongue so clearly as they squawk in outrage at each other
Tired but happy I decided to carry on down the same road into the back of Port Chalmers. It offered some lovely scenic views on the way down
And heading down the hill on the Dunedin side I got this view of the entrance to the harbour and Tairoa Heads
Finally the oddest thing that I came across was while parked taking the above shot. Some feral roosters popped out of the scrub and trotted across the road to fossick in the grass
Changing lenses I also found a sandwich leftover from the day before I threw down and it disappeared quick smart to the four roosters. And then this handsome fellow came along
They ducked under the fence and carried on down the hill, and greatly amused by our encounter I carried on into the city and lunch with my step-sister before hitting the road for the long haul south.
Part 3 – Waterfalls and Scenery Oh My! coming soon.