New Zealand`s Birds
New Zealand`s Landbirds (45
mins) and new Zealand`s Seabirds (50 mins) produced by GEO Wildlife Documentaries - GEO Productions Pty Ltd PO Box 1390, Chatswood,
Sydney NSW 2057 Australia. Supplied by The Birding Shop
Produced and directed by Grant Young and Photographed by Geoff Longford, writen by Terence Lindsey, edited by Phil Sheppard and Narrated by Philip Hinton.
I watched both these videos back to back and enjoyed them both. For me it was a mixture of the familiar and of frustration. Many members of my family live in New Zealand\'s North Island and I have visited them on a number of occasions – so many of the birds and locations were familiar to me. On the other hand many were for the South Island, which I have yet to be lucky enough to visit, hence the frustration.
The videos concentrate on the many New Zealand endemics (or very nearly so in some cases where there are small colonies of some birds on remote Australian Island). For those of you who don’t know, New Zealand’s endemics are often confined to one of the main islands (North, South or Stewart) and, since man first came to these islands many were wiped out or had vestigial populations on small Islands such as Great barrier Island off North Island, Islands which are very difficult for ordinary birders to visit. This has changed with re-introduction programmes on many small islands where introduced predators have been cleared – some of which can be visited such as Tiri Tiri Matahnghi. (Even an inland island in the middle of Lake Rotorua has now been used in this way).
So what of the films? For the most part my verdict is excellent 4.5 out of a possible 5! The filming is very good and shows birds in natural habitat with enough long shots to really understand their needs and enough close-ups to help with ID. These are birders films – documentaries that give just the right information in measured tones from a good narrator. The direction is good and each bird is dealt with comprehensively and well.
So why not 5 out of
In a word – music. Why do film makers (or more likely distributors) think that we need to fill the gaps not occupied by words with music? Personally I don’t want any background and much prefer to hear the natural sounds of the birds or the wind in the trees and the waves crashing on the shores. But, if we must have music does it have to be this naff?
Fatbirder note to all documentary makers – dump the naff music, let tranquillity express itself through the sounds of the wild – it has never needed human intervention!
Created: 7th Jun 2001