Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Helican!

Six Pelican at Waipu - Saturday 14th September

A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I'm damned if I see how the helican!
Dixon Lanier Merritt

Yesterday we began our walk with a tasty chocolate brownie from the local store which was to see us through until a picnic lunch at the end of the spit.

It was good to see six Pelicans in the distance on the far side of the river at Waipu. About a week ago five flew over Pakiri. 
These birds from Australia arrived in New Zealand under their own steam so they become Natives to add to our biodiversity.

Ice plant is everywhere and other invasive plants above the sarcocornia and marsh rush. Just a few patches  of coastal ribbonwood so not much cover for banded rail . I love this saltmarsh habitat.

We saw Harrier circling overhead and Paradise ducks too. Just three pairs of dotterel and one single. Some of the birds are banded. I photographed these to pass on the information.(A more recent visit has counted 11 pairs across the area). A Caspian tern did a flyby searching the river for fish. At the mouth of the estuary about 30 black backed gulls were feeding. A skylark sang to us from high in the sky.

Today had a cool sharp  South Westerly breeze which seemed to swing around to a North North Westerly at times. However the rain kept off until we were within running distance of the car, left at the car park at Waipu. Then time to dry off during the drive home to look forward to a warm by the fire.