It seems to have ended now, but yesterday was another of those perfect crystal days.
My friend Adam sent me a text to alert me to the flat calm state of the Pauatahanui inlet with the added attraction of mist in the early morning sun. As soon as breakfast was one, I was off, and as I drove onto Motukaraka road, the first thing I saw was an Australasian harrier hawk (Circus approximans) perched on a bush at the water’s edge.
This is the largest, and probably the most numerous of our raptors. I suspect the main source of its food these days is road kill which may explain why so many of them fall victim to the same fate. Anyway, they are shy, and it is hard to get them to stand still.
Screeching to a halt, I grabbed the camera with the long lens, and pointed at this beautiful bird. I swear that the birds can hear the ultrasonic mechanism of the autofocus, because a millisecond after I did that “half-press” it was off. I got just one shot of it sitting and the rest were of its rapid departure.
Magical mirror reflections were everywhere. Gumboots on, I walked out onto the very stick mudflats and enjoyed the misty view back up towards Moonshine Valley.
In the hope of close kingfisher encounters, I set up my hide on the edge of the water, but forgot about the incoming tide, so had to relocate. The kingfishers’ normal pattern seems to have been disrupted, and I speculate that the disturbances in the harbour caused by the storm may have diminished the crab supply. One kingfisher posed briefly, but everything else was at a distance.
However, the bright sun took the chill of the air, despite the recently departed frost.
The water was reflecting nicely, and the driftwood branches favoured by the birds were themselves the subject of my attention.
The colourful houses across the inlet in Whitby were creating interesting reflections and I was put in mind of the great Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian.
But now the weather has broken.
*I can see clearly now by Johnny Nash