My birds have been neglected lately.
With this in mind, I went to Pauatahanui on Tuesday. The weather was middling grey, but for once, reasonably still. As I drove on to usual spotting place on Motukaraka Point, I saw flock of about eight or nine Royal Spoonbills browsing in the mud of the creek nearby.
Spoonbills are a bit unpredictable, and sometimes they will tolerate humans nearby and at other times they are a bit shy. I had stayed well hidden and not moved. Someone else came by with a dog and suddenly they were airborne.
Most of them flew to the ponds at the Eastern end of the inlet with a couple of socially inept birds going the other way.
Since I was passing the ponds on the way home, it was worth a look to see what was happening there. By now the wind had returned and the water was unpleasantly ruffled where the spoonbills had settled, but the pied stilts were engaged in some interesting battles which seemed to be about getting rid of an unwanted bird from the flock. I can’t tell the sexes apart so I can’t be sure whether this was some sort of mate-selection process or just playground bullying.
Sorry I was late. More to come.