Sitting in my hide on the shingle beside the inlet in the morning sun with the tide lapping at my feet was wonderful.
For a long while, nothing happened. Then, right in front of me perhaps three meters away, a kingfisher was sitting on our favourite posing post. Perhaps it was the sound of my jaw dropping, or perhaps the bird detected my attempt at stealthy raising of the camera, but then it was gone. Rats! I need faster reflexes. Ah well, as my photographic friends tell me, patience, grasshopper! I filled in time by looking at what else was happening on the inlet. Out on the sandbank, black swans and Canada geese tend to gather, but lately there has been a growing colony of Caspian terns (Hydroprogne caspia). Apparently these are the largest of the tern family. similar in size to the black-backed gull, with a wingspan of about a metre. They have a distinctively massive red bill which, together with the dark cap, makes them easy to distinguish from gulls.
I was enjoying myself in my hide by the water while out on the inlet, someone else was having a good time sailing a gaff-rigged clinker-built dinghy which I presume to be a replica or restoration from an earlier age.
As I mentioned, there are plenty of black swans (Cygnus atratus) about, and at various times of day, depending on the wind and tide, they transition from one place to another. Like the Canada geese they are regarded by most New Zealand farmers as pest birds because they eat valuable pasture and foul it with their manure. Nevertheless, in the water or in the air, they are elegant birds except at the moment of their clumsy landings.
And then, wonder of wonders, the kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) was back. It perched on a distant piece of driftwood where it beat the crab in its beak into submission and swallowed it. A friend thinks this perch is ugly. I think it has character, and looks like a bunch of wrestlers.
Of course it flew away to an even more distant perch but I am hopeful to see more of them, and with patience (and some fine weather), to get much closer.
See you again.