Octoberfest 2016

Well October has come and gone.
Many miles have been put under the wheels of the  wagon as we have busied ourselves keeping up with the birds and their early spring activities.
The first bit of action came after a lady friend Imogen who lives in Foxton alerted us to the presence  of a little Red Necked Stint.
These birds are not often seen in our neck of the woods so we hurried up the coast to photograph this little blighter before he continued his migration north.
Many migratory birds rest over at  the The Manawatu Estuary and the place
is listed under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as a Wetland of International Importance.
Read more about it here
http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/manawatu-whanganui/places/manawatu-estuary/
We arrived in Foxton more or less on time, to find Imogen already out on the mud flats  keeping an eye on our most welcome visitor.
With hellos, hoz it going over,  the long creep across the sand and mud flats began.

Red Necked Stint--4
Amazingly the little red stint was very accommodating, Imogen had tamed it very well with her womanly charms and I was able to get very close to him and that was cool because these birds are tiny , almost sparrow sized.

To give us an idea of just how tiny these birds are , here we find him using a gumboot print in the soft sand  to hide out of the wind.

Red Necked Stint-8652-Edit
A great big thank you is due to Imogen and after I had all the shots I wanted we went back to her place for a bite to eat and attempted to keep her retired greyhound dog to stay awake for more than 2 minutes on the trot ,  which we failed miserably in doing  lol

The following weekend it was over to the Waikanae Estuary and the Waimanu Lagoons to see what was going on.
But first before we got there, a short recce out to the beach at Queen Elizabeth Park was called for where we saw NO pheasants  but I did get a pretty good shot of Mr Hare hiding in the lupin bushes.

Hare-
Mrs Black Bird was nicely contrasted feeding in amongst the yellow flowers so clikerty click went the camera and I was pleased with the result

Song Thrush -
Once we had moved on to Waikanae the day was well and truly under way  and the first thing that caught my eye was the light shining through the flowers .

Back lighting (the sunlight coming onto the subject  from behind) is always worth investigating

flowers-9083-Edit
Once I was convinced I had a good shot, I moved on to birds, it was busy on the water as most birds were either impressing each other in their mating rituals or feeding their already growing youngsters.

This goose chick looks like it got a wiff of something smelly lol

goose-

Mummy Black Swan opens the salad bar  for her youngsters

Black Swan-
This Black Swan chick adds new meaning to the words salad dressing. lol

Black Swan-9200-Edit
Males will try anything to impress their mates.
This male pango pango or scaup  has added some modifications to impress his mate.

pango pango  or scaup-

 

 

After lunch it was north to Otaki  my home town and down to the beach to check out the banded Dotterel’s and see if any had chicks.
We were not disappointed.
Good fortune smiled on us as the birds were camped out on a isolated island of Ice plants and beach debris completely out in the open.

First up Mr Banded Dotterel

Banded Dotteral -9258-Edit
Mrs Dotterel

Banded Dotteral -9253-Edit

Junior giving us his best stone impression

Banded Dotteral --6
The fun began, we could see the baby Dotterel’s ducking here and there fussing with  their parents and we moved closer.
Then  they spotted us and split off in opposite directions.
It got tricky as these babies were not much bigger than a thumb and they hid very well so we sat down after checking we would not be squashing them and waited.

Bit of scale  provides us with an idea of just how small these little critters are .

Banded Dotteral -9434-Edit

After some time they re emerged and we were able to get a few shots of them chicks while mum and dad kept a close eye on us.

Mum and baby .

Banded Dotteral --4
With all the excitement over  as we did not want to interfere with the birds activities too much we were off home, but not before  stopping in on our Pheasant grounds on the way.

A Cock Pheasant  crowing and displaying for his women.

pheasant-9462-Edit
October was a busy month.
Get out there  and go for it , summer is on the way and the heat haze is already making its prescience felt as close scrutiny of the bird above shows

But the last word goes to the star of the show for me.

Red Necked Stint-8734-Edit

 

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