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. In 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.
South Island Oystercatchers taking off.
Racing off in the other direction I spotted some Black Swans.
A bit further and Chevvy and I surprised a flock of sparrows.
This sweet Blackbird was not at all bothered as we walked past.
As we continued I heard a familiar sound and after some searching was thrilled to spot a Tui.
Actually…a couple of them.
Just 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.
A 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.
We 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].
Of 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.
Everyday the ducks wait…and are rewarded with a feed of bread by this lady.
The Mallards Ducks, Peking Ducks and what I think are Black Swedish Ducks come fast and furious to get their share.
And they are still at it.
Some ducks never know when to stop.
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.
Keeping 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.
As 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.
So 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.
Well that’s it for my walk. I know it was long…but it was worth it don’t you think ????
The Winter Solstice is here in the Southern Hemisphere and it is a cold dreary day. The tuis are still filling my garden with their song. I love having this pair residing in my trees.
Someone however, does NOT think it is a good idea to get out of bed…can you guess who ???
Yesterday when we went for a walk it was chilly enough that we decided to both wear our winter woolies. Chevvy loves her new coat. So much that I get THE LOOK when I dare take it off. THE LOOK says quite plainly…and all in capitals…GIVE THAT BACK, IT’S MINE !!!
On our walk we did enjoy seeing some ducks having fun in the stream.The pukekos had raided someone’s vege garden and were enjoying their ill-gotten gains.And though they were far away, the kingfishers were out and a delight to watch zooming over the mudflats looking for dinner.This year I am proud to announce I have planted garlic for the first time. Yippee…now I just have to wait for the Summer Solstice to enjoy my favourite spice in the world. Though technically it is not a spice but a vegetable. As however my favourite vegetable in the winter is the trusty, tasty brussels sprout I am going to call garlic a spice and be done with it.
And to cheer up my dreary day I am going to share this kitty with you. I love the look on its face when it realises it has been caught.
will today be a day
I hide my eyes from life’s harshness
or soothe them within its gentleness
For all of you in the UK, check this out for a great FREE photography competition to enter. The grand prize is a trip to Churchill, Canada for an Arctic summer adventure: Been There’s Photo Competition.
There are also monthly prizes for each theme.
You can get a list of the year’s themes at the Been There site.
One more for those of you with London shots: Time Out London has a pretty interesting FREE photography competition.