June 27, 2013 … bright, bright sunshiny day*

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.

Australian harrier hawk knows that someone is watching

Within a second it will be airborne

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.

The hawk departs

We have no eagles, vultures or condors. Apart from the albatross and giant petrel this is amongst our largest birds

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.

Misty hillside near Pauatahanui

This is within a kilometre of very dense housing

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.

Isn't it a handsome bird

I think the kingfisher was out of luck with its crab fishing

However, the bright sun took the chill of the air, despite the recently departed frost.

This is the same tree as the one the kingfisher was sitting on above

It was a really still day

The water was reflecting nicely, and the driftwood branches favoured by the birds were themselves the subject of my attention.

Nature makes its own art works

Perhaps I should rotate this through 90 degrees

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.

Kingfishers on the branch, unaware of the colour below them

De Stijl? (Google is your friend)

But now the weather has broken.

*I can see clearly now by Johnny Nash

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About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
This entry was posted in Art, Birds, Pauatahanui, Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to June 27, 2013 … bright, bright sunshiny day*

  1. Toya says:

    Love the reflections, they are beautiful. Well done on the hawk – I have yet to get a good one of these.

  2. The reflections are nice. Would never have picked it was Whitby houses

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