I just love birds.

I may be a bit late on here…but this week I am joining in Jo’s Monday Walk.

As always with a bit of a twist.

Chevvy and I make a regular walk along the Uretara Estuary. It changes everyday. Some days I notice the scenery, some days it is the people while other days I take in the wildlife…I have even been on a ‘let’s look at the houses’ walk.

Today I am going to share what I was taken with on my latest walk…the bird life.

Two Pied Stilts in the water and on land what I think is the South Island Oystercatcher. 10491106_807782742595595_3196137196850817017_nIn the photo below amongst the South Island Oystercatchers you might notice one completely black bird. This I think is the Variable Oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor, torea or toreapango) and is found on rocky and sandy beaches. It is rare bird – there were around 3,500 birds in 1994, and they are found only in New Zealand.

10559680_808220695885133_1620878092508156764_nSouth Island Oystercatchers taking off.

10475577_807782992595570_1391898114915961385_nRacing off in the other direction I spotted some Black Swans.

10389296_808361989204337_3542068335269779166_nA bit further and Chevvy and I surprised a flock of sparrows.

10561794_808316739208862_936787759662492575_nThis sweet Blackbird was not at all bothered as we walked past.

10489740_808317029208833_4547733439823260273_nAs we continued I heard a familiar sound and after some searching was thrilled to spot a Tui.

For info on the tree see the comments.

Actually…a couple of them.

10513399_807782719262264_5755252810304840918_nJust a bit further and a very hard to get close to New Zealand Kingfisher [kōtare, kotare, green kingfisher, tree kingfisher, wood kingfisher] popped up. It stayed beautifully posed on a flax plant for me.

1924335_807783045928898_7685228388816228885_nA few paces on and a cheeky Fan-tail swooped in and settled itself on the flax plants as well.

Further along I was thrilled to see a Little Shag, also known as the white-throated shag, little pied shag, little cormorant, kawau paka, little pied cormorant having a swim.

10403675_807782745928928_1066913688189996624_nWe also have the Pied Shag whose other names include: pied cormorant, kāruhiruhi, karuhiruhi, kawau, yellow-faced cormorant , large pied shag.

Across the Uretara Stream I spotted a gathering of shags which also included a few Black Shags [black cormorant, great cormorant, kawau, large black shag].

10544786_807783185928884_1476111839010003069_nOf course no walk along the estuary would be complete without a few ducks. One Mallard Duck thought a bit of a show was in order and set about chasing off the others.

10538054_807782912595578_6595270751976714287_nEveryday the ducks wait…and are rewarded with a feed of bread by this lady.

10390106_807782639262272_5864565390001089656_nThe Mallards Ducks, Peking Ducks and what I think are Black Swedish Ducks come fast and furious to get their share.

As well as the ducks the Pukekos are not shy about coming to get their fair share of the bread.

Pukekos co-exist with the other water fowl however are known for killing young chicks in their nests.

10511090_807782595928943_3467331310393001567_nKeeping an eye from a perch high above is the White-Faced Heron…also known as the matuku moana, matuku, blue heron, blue crane, whitefaced heron, white faced heron.

10514641_807782632595606_8918970054967841931_nAs Chevvy and I headed for home…we were rewarded with a wonderful sight. Not one but two New Zealand Kingfishers just across the road from my house. The perfect way to end this wonderful walk if you ask me. I got so excited at seeing two of them I nearly peed my pants.

10410159_807783109262225_7540409531543742221_nSo I took a couple of photos…

As we crossed the road to head up my driveway…one more surprise. A Eurasian Collared Dove wandering around.

1610756_808317159208820_1278743239754043051_nWell that’s it for my walk. I know it was long…but it was worth it don’t you think ????



  1. Love the walk. So many interesting birds. I most likely know the names of about a half-dozen birds, but I have an awesome (North American bird) book> Haven’t looked at it in years. Keep up the pictures. Love to see your birds. 🙂


  2. I don’t know about long, in distance, Jo – but it sure must have been long, in terms of time taken for all those photo op stops! Is this a wintering over spot, or are all these birds here year round? So many of them (and so excellently captured!) – this must be a special walk. 🙂


      1. No…spring is certainly not arriving here…it is freezing. We even had snow on the nearby ranges.
        This article will show you how cold. It is not every year this happens.
        You could see it from Katikati. Brrrrrrrr
        As for the tree, it is called the Tui tree here but is actually a Prunus campanulata superba.


    1. Sure is. Always changing and always lots to see…even when the birds are not out in force. These birds are generally here year round…which is a good thing. 🙂 🙂


    1. I know…lucky you. When I was in Africa I was almost sad at how people were sooooo fascinated by big game that they never took the time to look at the birdlife.


  3. Wow is right, Jo! Such variety and you’ve captured some of them exquisitely. The close ups of the kingfisher and the fantails are superb, and I love your black swans too. That’s one of those things you shared with Christine. A love of the simple beauties that surround you. It’s a little like walking with her too, Jo, and I hope my saying this doesn’t make you sad.
    Thank you so much. I love this, and will feature it with next week’s walks. Hugs! 🙂


    1. Awwwww…thanks Jo. No you didn’t sadden me. That is a beautiful compliment. Christine always amazed me with her photography…the way she saw beauty everywhere. So I am thrilled to hear I made you think of her with these.


  4. So many exotic birds! I like birds very much as well. I think my favourites are seagulls and crows. I like to watch them, how they act together. They are so playful.


  5. wonderful nature walk – and a treat to see some totally different birds to ours in the UK


    1. Thanks Sue. They are usually around most days, but it isn’t often I see them all at once. Well, I do see them but don’t always get good shots like this time. Nature was being kind to me.


  6. I’m amazed at how many birds you were able to see in an incredible small amount of time. I’m impressed with the knowledge you have of all of their species. Are you a bird watcher? Do you take binoculars with you, see them and photograph?
    I like so many but wouldn’t want to offend any of them since they are all beautiful in their own way. A relaxing post to see. Thank you …
    p.s. I posted the cheesecake recipe in the event that you’d like to make it. I’m not very good at taking photos of food. My kitchen lighting isn’t real good but the recipe is there for you to make and enjoy.
    If you do make it, let me know what you think. 😊


      1. I will let you know how it goes. The kiddywinkles are due home in about 10 days. it is the last time Jess will be home for a while as she is off to Switzerland to work…so I might try to make it then.


    1. It was a very long walk Izzy. Chevvy was really getting fed up with me for stopping all the time. No binoculars…just me and the Canon. I could spend hours just watching them, though I don’t always know their names. I have to come home and do a lot of Googling to work out what is what.


      1. Sshhh … don’t tell. You sounded like a bird expert. LOL
        I can understand Chevvy getting upset. My hubby gets upset and he’s a human.
        How did you come up with his name?
        Anyway … loved tagging along on your walk and viewing your adventure. 😃


  7. Did you say how long that walk took you Jo .Lol … your head must have been fast swivelling round with so many opportunities to click your shots …. Love the black swans and oh the kingfishers … they really are tantalising aren’t they . Seen only a couple myself in all my years 😉


    1. A couple of hours, but I did a lot of sitting around…waiting. The kingfisher was hard. I had to creep…slowly…one step at a time, clicking away…until he thought enough was enough. And the ones across the road from my house were such a bonus. Never seen them there before. That was more creeping…behind big trees. The swans were actually quite a way out and I didn’t think I would get anything worth showing until they flew off and came a little closer. They wanted to cross over where the ducks were in to the area where the pukeko and duck shot is…it is a more protected part of the estuary.


  8. Lovely walk and lovely photographs – you live in a wonderful place where you can see all this bird-life on your doorstep. And I love the kingfishers, how lucky are you!
    Jude xx


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