November 19, 2014 … back to the birds

My birds have been neglected lately.


Steady side to side filtration of the mud by the spoonbills probably produces a steady influx of mud crabs.


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 (2)

The South end of a Northbound flock of spoonbills. In the air, they are as graceful as the herons.


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.

Solo spoonbill

This bird chose to head West away from the rest of the flock … it gave me some nice light


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.


Lots of frantic hopping and scratching intended to drive the unwanted bird away



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.


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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