A keen eye for conservation & a passion for birds!

For those of you that follow Piroa Conservation Trusteither on Facebook you will have noticed some rather amazing bird photography. This is all thanks to Aaron Skelton who lives 30 minutes west of Whangarei on a Dairy farm near Maungakaramea.
Aaron is super passionate about being able to preserve what unique wildlife we have left so future generations can enjoy it too.

In Aarons own words “For me it’s a very satisfying feeling being able to visit pest free and heavily trapped areas around NZ, and noticing the impact of what the pest control is doing for our native bush and wildlife. I can appreciate the hard work of the volunteers/workers do, living and working a dairy farm we do our own trapping of possums, Mustelids, rats and cats” 

Aaron has been interested in photography for around eight years now and over that time it’s definitely been a lot of trail and error. He joined the Whangarei Camera Club, which he has found has been an awesome place to learn from local photographers and more about camera gear and what it takes to capture the moment. It trips to capture the birds and other native species varies a but depending on how much time he gets off work.

Red Knots 
Fairy Tern (Tara iti)
North Island saddleback (tīeke)
Cattle Egret
Salvin's albatross
Fernbird (Mātātā) 

Most of the time it only 2-3 hours out taking photos around the area. He is often drawn to Waipu estuary to photograph the critically endangered Fairy terns and any other shore birds that catch his interest at the time.  Recently he has been doing pelagic trips (organised by Scott Brooks) which is a 50km trip from Tutukaka marina pass the Poor Knights islands and to the 500 metre depth mark. On a day out there he will see Albatros/mollymawks, and many different types of petrel but as you can image its a real challenge trying to photograph flying birds while the boat is rocking around.

Once a year he takes a trip for a few nights on Tiritiri Matangi island located in the Hauraki Gulf. This pest free island is a great place to get close to bush birds get his pic fix for the year. For those that have been its an awesome place to see endangered birds and most of the time Aaron comes away with some shots he is super happy with.  

Aarons photography is just one way of support conservation efforts in NZ both sharing with people far and wide his pictures, but also the real joy of learning about seabirds and trying his best to photograph.  For more amazing images from Aaron follow him on Facebook or Instagram #azaskelton
As long as Aaron keeps providing us his images to share we will keep them flowing on our Facebook feed for all to enjoy.

Aaron, thank you on behalf of PBL for capturing such fantastic reminders of why our volunteers keep working towards Predator Free 2050.

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