March 15, 2014 … as the storm gathers

Bad weather looms.

Grey clouds in the South

The weather is not yet here

It may not be as severe as the media have suggested when it gets here, but time will tell. I noticed a cloud coming in from the South, though the remnants of tropical cyclone “Lusi” are approaching from the North. This low level shot is from the Eastern end of Petone Beach looking out through the heads to the South. As you can see, Pencarrow is buried in the approaching weather.

Tanker at Seaview

Ominous sky

A little further around the bays and there was a view from Lowry Bay of the Seaview Oil wharf where the tanker “Ardmore Seafarer” was unloading against an ominous looking background.

Terns getting ready for the weather

White-fronted terns at Lowry Bay

Terns probably don’t watch television, but they knew the weather was coming and as is often the case were gathering in a place that would give them some shelter from the storm. They tend not to need much, and often it is just a ridge to hide behind. They were coming in, in some numbers. I still don’t have my big lens so you can guess that they were approaching despite my presence and came within four metres or so.

Immature black-fronted tern

I love the soft grey of its waistcoat

The flock was comprised of white-fronted terns (Sterna striata)  … except for one little fellow who looked out of place. It looked like a juvenile, but had different colouring to the white-fronted juveniles. Birding friends have confirmed that this one bird in the flock was a black-fronted tern (Sterna albostriata).

Black-fronted tern at rest

Note the red feet and the bill seems shorter than those on the other variety

It seemed quite at home among the other terns yet moved independently. What a pleasure it was to see this bird, far less common in this area than the white-fronted variety.

Time to batten down the hatches.

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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, harbour, Maritime, Pencarrow, Petone, Seaview, Weather, Wellington. Bookmark the permalink.

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