For about two hours, yesterday morning was just perfect.
If you have been reading this blog for any time at all you know the inevitable consequence of that. Yes, back to the inlet. No wind at all to mar the mirrored surface. The wonderful high-contrast black and white of the pied stilts and the green and gold of the rushes results in an image which is similar in character to others I have shown.
Moving on to the usual viewing place at Motukaraka Point, I saw that someone else was making the most of the conditions, and he was moving quietly enough that there was no disturbance to the bird life.
I took my chair to a suitable spot and waited. Nothing happened. No kingfishers came near me, though they were around when I arrived. Never mind, it was wonderful just sitting in the sun, enjoying the tranquility. The howl of heavy truck tyres on the Southern side of the inlet was sufficiently muted by distance as to not intrude on the tranquility.
Wing beats alerted me to the passage of a pair of white-faced herons flying in circles in what I suspect was part of some kind of courtship pursuit. Though smaller than its bigger cousin, the white heron, the more common white-faced heron is just as elegant in flight.
I was just packing my equipment back in the car when a kingfisher perched on the tree near the water. There has been a lot of discussion in one of the bird photography forums on how to react fast enough to get diving kingfishers. As always, I was too slow lining up to catch it entering the water, but here it is bursting from the depths a moment later, the doomed crab in its beak.
A few milliseconds later, the bird is airborne and on its way back to the perch. That crab has just seconds to live.
By now the wind had arisen, and the perfect water was no more. On my way home, there was a man fishing for trout in a sheltered spot on the Hutt River just downstream from the Melling Bridge. After asking his permission, I took some shots of his casting action. At one stage I got too close to the backswing and his hook caught a fold in my jeans. As I observed elsewhere, I am glad he was one on those catch and release kind of guys.
I was let off the hook.