Mainly West of Queen Street - seen through my lens

Oystercatchers at Mangere

Oystercatchers Roosting (Kiwi Esplanade, Mangere)

Oystercatchers Roosting (Kiwi Esplanade, Mangere)

The theme for July of the City Daily Photo community is “the colour green”. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants. My green canvas shows off some beautiful birds.

At the western end of Mangere’s Kiwi Esplanade, next to the Manukau Boating Club, are a couple of paddocks which are a roosting site for oystercatchers. They feed in the vast mudflats of the Manukau Harbour, and when the tide comes in, they have to retreat to land for rest and recreation. They will fly here in small groups of between one and 100 birds, and it is a treat to hear the whisper of their wings interspersed with their calls as they come in.

Occasionally, they lift up into the air, perhaps disturbed by an approaching dog or an exuberant child, or maybe for no perceptible reason at all. Their swirling about over the land and water is spectacular. It is great to be able to see this so close to the city.

The majority of these are South Island Pied Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus finschi, torea), with small numbers of (predominantly black) Variable Oystercatchers (Haematopus unicolor) in between.

Oooops, the pictures below are not very green – I think it’s a case of chromatic aberration.

Taking to the Air: Oystercatchers at Mangere

Taking to the Air: Oystercatchers at Mangere

South Island Pied Oystercatcher in Flight

South Island Pied Oystercatcher in Flight


  1. Mark Bellamy

    I have never seen so many Oyster Catchers in one spot. Great theme post.

  2. Julie

    *grin* … love yer pathetic excuse!!

    I like this birds, but do not think I have ever seen one IRL. Maybe a couple on the mudflats just north of Broome. It is their cleanliness that I find attractive. The clarity of each part and the ‘line’ between the colours. I would love to see them all rise up like that.

  3. J Bar

    Quite fantastic.

  4. JO

    fantastic photos!! I love them all.

  5. Stewart M - Australia

    Hi there – great shots of the Oystercatchers – one of my favourite birds!

    Stewart M – Australia

  6. nathalie

    I’ve never seen so many oystercatchers at the same time. I never saw more than 2 or 3. What a brilliant post – glad you posted the second photo too, it’s amazing.

  7. sylvia

    I just love seeing the wildlife from other parts of the world. Are these oystercatchers a nuisance? In our area we have the Canada Geese, which has moved into the golf courses and refuses to migrate anymore. They have become somewhat of a pest.

  8. Mickie Brown

    Incredible shots–love the flock of them in the sky. Very nice. Mickie 🙂

  9. Leif Hagen

    Such a great series on those beautiful birds!

  10. Eileen

    Great shots of the Oystercatchers, they are cool looking birds. I love the shot of them all in flight, great capture. Happy skywatching!

  11. Babzy

    Great serie 🙂

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