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
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.
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.
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.
Back lighting (the sunlight coming onto the subject from behind) is always worth investigating
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
Mummy Black Swan opens the salad bar for her youngsters
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
Junior giving us his best stone impression
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 .
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 .
A Cock Pheasant crowing and displaying for his women.
But the last word goes to the star of the show for me.