December 18, 2013 … feathers and mud

When the day is warm and calm, I have to seize the opportunity.

Royal spoonbills

“… and now I can’t do a thing with it”

Pauatahanui called, and there was a huge variety of water fowl on the sandbanks and drifting offshore, There were black swans, pied stilts, plovers,  gulls, white-faced herons and a very large gathering of Canada geese.  A pair of royal spoonbills caught my eye, one asleep and the other having a bad hair day.

Canada geese

Maternal sentry … up periscope

Close to my normal viewing place, a family of Canada geese was taking great care of their five goslings, and at the slightest hint of anyone coming near, they would launch into the water. If the threat backed off, they came back.

I sat in semi-concealment for a while, hoping to see kingfishers. Some of us are wondering if the local population was wiped out in the storms of the winter. I can’t recall such a prolonged absence in previous years.  As I sat on the shingle, I saw what I took to be a dorsal fin. It was black and leathery looking, and rolled into view and then submerged. It did this twice more before it disappeared and not once did I catch it on camera. The size of the fin suggested something about two metres long, but in retrospect, it is more likely given the shallow water, that I saw a stingray’s wingtip.  After a prolonged absence of kingfishers, I went round to the Okowai lagoons near Porirua.

Broken wing dance

Follow me … nothing to see back that way

These lagoons were formed when the motorway cut off a part of the Porirua Harbour, so I have no idea of what their natural state might be if and when they are in good health. At present they seem to be a bit of a wasteland with black mud liberally laced with plastic rubbish. However I tend to go there looking for birds, with varied success. A white heron is a reputed visitor, but I have yet to see it. There were a pair of pied stilts in residence, however, and they were clearly guarding a nest. They tried the old “broken wing dance” to lure me away.

Pied stilt

Having successfully “lured me away”, this one is making sure I don’t go back to the nest area.

The glistening black mud cast up some weird highlights in the background.

Pohutukawa in flower

Metrosideros excelsa has a very brief flowering season, but is worth the wait

As I climbed the hill to the road, it occurred to me that despite an early and prolific pohutukawa season, I had yet to take a serious shot of  one this season.

Hope to see you tomorrow.

 

 

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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 Birds, flowers, Landscapes, Pauatahanui, Porirua. Bookmark the permalink.

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