December 23, 2013 … accessible wilderness

The banded dotterel (Charadrius bicinctus) is a threatened bird in New Zealand.

Dotterel habitat

This image is 100% free of dotterels

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.

Ferries coming and going

Kaitaki and Aratere passing “port to port” as dictated by the customs of the sea

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.

Solitary walker

If you have something to think about, this is probably a good place to do it

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.

Tui and flax

The pairing of tui and flax is a bit of a cliché at this time of year, but it seemed a particularly handsome bird.

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.

Ferries in the harbour

Just b eyond the Straitsman, the new apartment block modelled on the old Overseas Passenger Terminal is nearing completion

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.


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 adversity, Birds, Cook Strait, South Coast, Wainuiomata. Bookmark the permalink.

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