The banded dotterel (Charadrius bicinctus) is a threatened bird in New Zealand.
Foolishly, from an evolutionary perspective, it makes shallow scrapings to nest on open beaches. Naturally dogs, horses, quad bikes and even people can trample all through the nesting area and destroy the eggs. On the South coast beach at the end of the Wainuiomata Coast Road, there is a fenced off area designed to deter intrusion by humans. Sadly the fabric used to mark the boundaries rots in the sun and wind, and worse, mindless morons drive quad bikes through the area despite signs imploring that the nesting area be respected. I went to see if any dotterels could be seen from the edge of the fenced off area. Alas, I saw not one. Either they are not there, or else they are better camouflaged than I thought.
Away to the West, I could see two ferries, the Kaitaki on the left, heading to Picton, and the poor crippled (one of its propellers fell off) Aratere inbound to Wellington. Though the temperature was not high, the waves coming in from the South seemed to create a haze that distorted the view in an interesting way.
In the distance a woman was enjoying her own company as she walked the beach. I greeted her politely as we passed but, in the words of Lewis Carroll, “answer came there none”. She walked on towards the West and I thought her presence added something to the beach shot with the South Island looming in the distance.
A brief comfort stop in the Rimutaka Forest Park allowed me to catch this tui on a flax bush. Look at that nectar feeding tongue protruding.
Coming back over the Wainuiomata Hill into the Hutt Valley I paused to see what if anything, was happening, and saw the Aratere being headed off by the Straitsman which had come from behind to berth first. According to the time stamp, this image was taken 25 minutes after the first one in which the Aratere features. It is not doing too badly for a vessel with one of its two engines shut down.
That’s all for today.