April 26, 2013 … wild winds blowing

Queenstown is now far behind us.

I didn’t need to worry about any further Autumnal excesses … the riotous colours stopped at the Southern end of Lake Wakatipu, and despite the odd tree here and there, very little has been seen in the subsequent journey.

On the other hand landscapes have been easy to find and my first one was captured somewhere just North of Garston.

Near Garston

Despite the superficial greenness, rivers were all low

The next green landscape was near the turn off to Te Anau at Five Rivers.

Five Rivers Area

Clouds might have been a warning of impending weather conditions

Sadly, the further South we went, the worse the weather became. It held off briefly as we had lunch with my brother and sister-in-law at the Lorneville Pub just out of Invercargill (The blue cod and chips meal there is absolutely brilliant).

In the afternoon, in Invercargill, strong wind and heavy rain made conditions outside very unpleasant. However, as we got close to sunset, the rained eased off though the wind remained. May and I put on our warm jackets and visited the Waihopai river estuary, and walked the loop around the lagoon.

Despite the vicious wind there were plenty of birds to be seen though mostly in some kind of protective huddle posture. I was lucky to see several kingfishers though it was a challenge to hold the lens steady on the monopod in the conditions.

Kingfisher at Invercargill

At least it is a different perch to my usual site

A little further on, I was intrigued by a juvenile spotted shag (Phalacrocorax punctatus) which kept a wary eye on me as I crept closer.

Spotted shag

As an indication of the wind I attempted to get a bit creative with images of toetoe seed heads bending before the onslaught.

Strong wind

Bend or break

And my last shot of the day is of golden grasses thrashing about.

Grasses in the wind

If you look closely you will see the movement

Tomorrow, we shall consider the Catlins.