Well the weather since getting home has been great. Sunshine and blue skies, with the odd frost but nice warm days. Last week was spent catching up on paperwork, spending time planting native trees at our section, and catching up with friends and family. This week it's back to work! Spent this morning inside staring at the computer screen so decided to head out with the camera this afternoon. A new little egret has been found in Hawkes Bay - take a look on birdingnz.net - and so I thought I'd head out to check a few spots to see if I could find either the old bird or the new own.
I got a little side-tracked by people white-baiting on the Tukituki River, and took a few photos of that. For those unfamiliar with whit-bait they are the juvenile form of a bunch of endemic New Zealand freshwater fishes (in the family Galaxiidae) - take a look here for more info. Basically it is a big thing in New Zealand to catch them during the season and they are considered a delicacy pan-fried as fritters (with just a bit of egg and seasoning) - beautiful! Anyway, I spent some time taking photos of the white-baiters with their nets and little channels they had made to direct the fish upstream into their nets. Kind of neat patterns.
Then headed through Haumoana on the lookout for the egret, but no luck so on to a small pond where there are sometimes interesting ducks, in Te Awanga. Nothing much there so headed to Muddy Creek. No sign of egrets but welcome swallows were a nice distraction, so spent some time with them, and then as the sun got low did some silhouettes with the black swans. Didn't turn out too bad!
|Looking up the Tukituki River towards Te Mata Peak
|Whitebaiter with the rivermouth and sea in the background
|Looking upstream, Mount Erin with the TV repeater on it
|Whitebaiter checking his net
|Checking for whitebait
|Welcome swallow in the late afternoon light
|Little pied shag shaking itself
|Welcome swallow checking me out
|Strong side-lighting on a welcome swallow
|Black swan with strong side-lighting