Friday 4 November 2011

Planes, trains, and automobiles...and ferries!

So it was an easy start to the day...but that was to be about all that was easy today!  We headed to a bakery and grabbed breakfast and lunch and then off through to Lake Horowhenua near Levin.  The wind was fair honking, so we found some shelter and scanned the lake edges for anything good.  Got a nice flock of little black shags, plus most feral mongrel ducks known to man, but nothing of great note.

We then made a trail towards Wellington making a quick stop at some local sewage ponds on the way.  Always worth a quick look at a sewage pond!  We had great views of black-fronted dotterel, dabchick, and then headed further south.  All was still looking good for the day...except as we drove I got a text message to say our Interisland ferry was cancelled!  Clearly a NZ$53 million refit hadn’t quite included any engine maintenance!  Quickly making a few calls we thought we were booked on to a midday-ish ferry with Bluebridge, so with a little time up our sleeve we thought it was worth a quick look at Plimmerton as a shore plover had been seen at there yesterday.  We pulled up and as the tide was nearly in, headed along the shoreline thinking it couldn’t be too hard to find it if it was here.  Well several hundred metres down the shore there was still no sign!  After several drives and stops we ended up conceding and heading for the ferry.

Arriving at the Bluebridge checkin we sat and waited, and waited, and waited, and then as the luggage truck headed for the ferry we were finally told that it was full!  What the!?  So more hurried phone calls and a visit to the Interisland ferry found that we should have definitely had a place on the Bluebridge ferry but they had obviously done the dirty and over sold and bumped us.  So there was nothing left but to wait for the 6:25pm Interisland ferry which was running at least an hour late!

So we headed back to Plimmerton to look for the shore plover again...but same result.  We checked in early for the ferry, saw a few spotted shags and fluttering shearwaters, and then finally departed on dark for Picton, arriving in just after 11pm.  What a day!
Bird of the day – TBA
Day total – Seen = 36 + 1 heard (dunnock); new for the trip = 1; total for the trip to date = 128

Ah, nothing quite like sewage ponds

Searched and searched, and this was the only sign we saw of shore plover...ha ha ha...I kill me!

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