August 14, 2014 … a birding congress

A busy morning yesterday led me to go out to the inlet after lunch.

Various birds

A wide variety of shorebirds at Pauatahanui

Just near Ration Point, there was a large congregation of birds including black swans, Royal spoonbills, Canada geese, mallard ducks, NZ shoveller ducks, masked lapwings, pied stilts, pied oystercatchers, and probably a few others I didn’t see.

Mixed flock

Caspian tern with a flock of pied oystercatchers

I did my best “twinkle-toes” impersonation to sneak up on a group of pied oystercatchers and was astonished to see a Caspian tern attempting to be part of the gang. I agonised over whether these are variable oystercatchers (Haemotopus unicolor) or the South Island pied oystercatcher (Haemotopus finschi)  and based on the slender bill and the height of the white patch on the side have opted for the pied oystercatcher.


Caspian tern in flight

Moments later another Caspian tern flew low overhead and I got a good look at just how massive its beak is compared to the smaller terns.

That’s my lot for the day.


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.
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