My last trip was fruitless in terms of the Pied Stilts.
Adult Pied Stilt
The family was feeding in the water in a part of the pond that was inaccessible. It was only the swooping parent bird who was trying to drive us away that alerted us to their location.
We sat in the hide and patiently waited but the tidal flow was all wrong for any photos of the birds but I liked the colours that were showing in this salty water, marshy, tidal pond.
It is such a harsh looking environment but this reserve of extensive wetlands is critical to so much of our natural environment in New Zealand.
We went for a stroll at the Pauatahanui Forest and Bird Reserve yesterday afternoon on a day that heralded summer.
The first pond offered some “Ducks are a-dabbling, Up tails all!” (The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame)….well in the third photo it is up tails all.
These were young ducks accompanied by their mother and sharing this pond with at least once other, very shy, duck family.
A Pukeko was poking about on an island in the pond but was reluctant to stand clear of foliage and with zoom at full stretch the photo is not that clear. Its camouflage is excellent bar its pristine white undergarments.
We sat at a second pond and admired the reflections and the Welcome Swallows zooming and darting above our heads.
All seemed quiet and still until out drifted this duck with her 8 very new ducklings.
Our patience was well rewarded and our reserves replenished from some time out in nature.
Sometimes when you live with a flock and have responsibilities to fly Point, or to wheel back and encourage everyone else from out on the wing, you need to take time out.
Then just float, allowing the surprising warmth of the spring sunshine to soak into you deeply, to find a still spot, a quiet spot to reflect and rest.
Drift along a little when you feel ready and perhaps move gently in pleasant surroundings, gathering energy, filling your reserves.
Simply watching the ripples, the reflections and the play of light on water.