Rainbow Springs, near Rotorua, NZ – April 2012

Hello everybody! I’ve finally got around to sorting the photos from China and NZ, and here’s the first batch. It’s from Rainbow Springs, a kiwi conservation center near Rotorua, which is home to plenty of other wildlife too. No photos of the kiwis, I’m afraid – I’ve only seen them at a special darkened enclosure as they’re nocturnal – and no photography was allowed, so as not to alarm them with flashes and noisy shutters. From what I’ve seen they’re energetic, determined and very likeable in their kiwi way.

So what do we have. I’ll start off with a few reptiles, and specifically with the Blue-Tongued Lizard:

Now, the reason behind the name might not be very clear from this photo, so here’s the color version (just for informational reasons; I think the b&w version works much better as a photo):

Next is a Tuatara – they are endemic to NZ, and though somewhat similar to lizards in appearance (to a layman’s eye at least), they actually stem from an order which is about 200 millions years old (and they are its sole representatives today):

The age got me thinking about dragons, though today I’m more strongly reminded of the Lizardfolk, from D&D 🙂 . Here’s a baby Tuatara, just a few weeks hatched:

The one above is his mum, though they live in separate enclosures (weak family ties). And here’s one last lizard, not sure about the lineage:

On to birds – here are a few shots of a Masked Lovebird, a type of small parrot. They are utterly adorable; I spent about 20 minutes watching them – they are curious, sociable, affectionate (two pairs were kinda necking on a perch), and also very, very colorful:

Hmm, that one looked more like an annoyed philosopher. Here’s one in a more playful mood: (Now you see me – )

Now you don’t!

Here’s a very distant relative – a Yellow-crested Cockatoo (or a Sulphur-crested one – I can’t tell from the photo – if you can, drop me a line; if it’s a Sulphur-crested one, his name is Charlie; if not, then he probably has a different name):

And a parakeet (I think it’s a Red-Crowned one, but am not entirely sure):

Here’s a Weka – a flightless bird of the rail family, also endemic to NZ (they are rather large – slightly larger than a chicken, I’d say):

Going back to b&w, a pair of Mute swans (more post-processing on this one than I usually do):

And a Black Shag:

And lastly a bit of flora:

I’m not sure which tree this is (the smaller plants around it are various types of ferns, of which there is a great variety in NZ), but this shot is adjacent to several shots of redwood trees (sequoias), so it could be one, looking strange because of the angle. Could be something else entirely, though. (Any knowledgeable viewers to the rescue?)

That’s it for today 🙂  – a set of photos from the Wenshu temple in Chengdu is nearly ready, I’ll post it after getting back home in two weeks. See you then!

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11 thoughts on “Rainbow Springs, near Rotorua, NZ – April 2012

  1. These are such excellent photos, really enjoyed reading the post! Not sure about the tree – the Cyathea tree ferns can be as big too. The bird in question looks more like a sulphur crested Cockatoo – the yellow crested ones have a yellow colouring on the cheeks which is often quite a bit brighter; the Wellington zoo lists an analogical bird as a sulphur crested Cockatoo: http://www.wellingtonzoo.com/net/explore/animals.aspx?id=40#. But in the end it’s the size that makes the difference, the yellow ones being smaller by 10-20cm, and this factor remains indiscernible in a two-dimensional version.

    • Hi Shelley. Sure! It’s way cool. And thanks for writing – I’m still full of fond memories from my visit.
      If you nave the time, could you perhaps help me to identify the 4th lizard photo, the parakeet and the b&w tree? Cheers, Boris.

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