What's that expression? A face only a mother could love... incredibly in just a few short weeks these poorly bedraggled tufts of fluff will be taking flight.
We finally managed to arrange a trip to Okarito recently, for a trip out to the Whataroa White Heron sanctuary with Dion from http://whiteherontours.co.nz/. Despite the (let's face it pretty hideous) weather, many of the stunning white heron (Kotuku) were there and nesting. The first chicks hatched about 4 days' prior to our arrival, so we had the opportunity of seeing these..gorgeous...things as mum sheltered them from the wind and rain lashing the West Coast!
This is the only nesting site in New Zealand for White Heron and was almost wiped out by 1900 due harvesting of the feathers for use as a hat decoration.
Although we were primarily there for the majestic white herons, i was pretty hard not to enjoy the antics of a couple of spoonbills who were trying to perch on the highest, thinnest tree branches in strong winds - it's a good job they've got better balance then me!
The weather was definitely a challenge for my camera and I was working extra hard to protect it from the rain. This shot was taken at 600mm on the Tamron 150-600 GII, Canon 6D, f/7.1, ISO 2500 and 1/1600s. Santa has arrived early this year with a Canon 5D mkIV, which I'm looking forward to putting through it's paces soon!