We’ve been here before, in good times and bad.
The Pekapeka wetlands just South of Hastings are very special. About this time last year, they were in the grip of a very serious drought, with scarcely any water. The next trip saw the water levels back to their normal state, but the bulrushes had died off and were brown and dry. This time, it was as if the drought had never been and the bulrushes (Raupo in Maori) were bigger and greener than ever. The big change was a massive infestation of pondweed, but it doesn’t seem to worry the birds. My first encounter was with a pair of grey teal (Anas gracilis) and I enjoyed the colour contrast.
In one of the few weed-free patches , I saw a solitary New Zealand dabchick (Poliocephalus rufopectus). This was probably an immature specimen, and it certainly was not engaging in the repetitive diving that I have seen on other visits. Instead, it seemed to be doing some stretching exercises and setting up ripples on the otherwise still water.
Black swans (Cygnus atratus) were plentiful, if somewhat shy, and they were difficult to get close to. On the other hand, the distant view against the lurid green was interesting anyway.
My last shot is of the vegetation in the wetlands. We have seen this log and its reflections before, but not with such prolific weed to add colour.
See you tomorrow.
*”Bein’ green” by Joe Raposo