Here we are in Miranda, on the Firth of Thames.
It’s a long haul from Wellington on one of the hottest days of the year. It seems that summer has arrived over the whole country in one extravagant hit. We set out early and made relatively few stops for pictures on the way. The first was on the Desert Road where I set up the tripod for a panorama. I got Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe but forgot to include Tongariro.
As we continued North, I caught Ngauruhoe (aka Mt Doom) through the window. Needless to say, Mary was driving at this point.
We had our food with us, so at lunch time we stopped at Lake Atiamuri a little South of Tokoroa and looked across the lake to the dam and to historic Pohaturoa. We arrived just as the local power boat club were launching, but it’s hard to be grumpy about families having fun on the water.
We arrived in Miranda in late afternoon after an unintended detour through Ngatea. The time to see the birds at Miranda is in the two hours either side of high tide. That meant that tomorrow would be the day. We stayed at the excellent Shorebird Centre which has a small amount of accommodation available at modest prices. After dinner we walked in the golden evening light to see the place where the birds gather. The first thing I caught was an Australasian Harrier being firmly escorted away from the nursery by a group of very determined white-fronted terns.
There were small numbers of birds about, especially Welcome Swallows, Skylarks, Terns and White-faced herons. There were even a few Godwits and Dotterels so it boded well for tomorrow. The light was pure magic, and the water was still. I could ask for nothing more.
Walking back along the 2km track to the accommodation, I was mindful of the fact that the Auckland region has little or no twilight, and the electric fence beside the track would not be good to encounter in the dark. I enjoyed the sunset, but kept moving.
It was a long day but a good one.