A family health event required a sudden trip to Napier.
A red morning sky warned of heavy weather to come, and sure enough the trip up was continuously wet. Mary visited as required and I was turned loose. For a while the rain had stopped so I set off to walk around the Ahuriri inlet. For 80% of the walk, the most exciting thing I saw was this Little Shag (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos).
Mind, it was a handsome specimen, and stayed quite close to me when it dived, affording me a good view of its descent into the depths.
Then the rain came down. I stuffed my camera under my thin hoodie and trudged around the walkway. I was nearly back onto Meeanee Quay when to great joy I encountered a small flock of bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica).
These astounding birds have arrived back in New Zealand in the last week or so, after their non-stop migration from Siberia. Like many other wading birds, they seem to enjoy the apparently endless supply of crabs in the estuary. The one second from left has one in its beak.
Despite my staying as still as possible in the still falling rain, they decided to move further away and gave me a nice flight shot.
To make the birding day complete, I was strolling along the walkway in the wetlands to the South of the Clive River when I encountered this white heron in breeding plumage. It was fishing with some success, though I wasn’t close enough to do it justice.
And that’s it for today.