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Oystercatchers

Oystercatchers

Oystercatchers

Last Tuesday afternoon near full tide. A good sized flock of oystercatchers were roosting on the sandbank by Titirangi Beach. Suddenly, on no apparent signal, they lifted off, flying out into Paturoa Bay, turning a few circles, and settling down again. Beautiful.

As the tide came further in, their patch of sand got smaller and smaller, and the march to the shore began.

More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

Oystercatchers

Oystercatchers

Oystercatchers

Oystercatchers

Oystercatchers

Oystercatchers

Three Oystercatchers

Three Oystercatchers

Three Oystercatchers

These three were among a group of oystercatchers feeding in the outgoing tide by Orpheus Drive. One obviously has got a shell, while the others watch and hope to get a turn…

Two variable oystercatchers, and one Pied oystercatcher (front left).

Oystercatchers

Oystercatchers, Mangere

Oystercatchers, Mangere

It was a grey afternoon, but perfectly still, hardly a ripple on the surface of the water in the bay by Kiwi Esplanade. The oystercatchers had flown in, driven by the rising tide, from their feeding grounds in the mudflats of the Manukau Harbour. And now the tide was inching its way up the various outcrops of volcanic rock that they occupied.

(Except for one red bill and red legs, the picture was practically black and white out of the camera…)

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

For more weekend reflections, go to James’ Weekend Reflections site.

Three Oystercatchers

Three Oystercatchers

Three Oystercatchers

It was a fairly grey day, but the Manukau Harbour at Mangere was mirror smooth. As the tide moves in, these oystercatchers will have to find higher ground. Nice wing stretch.

Three Oystercatchers

Three Oystercatchers

Three Oystercatchers

As the tide comes in, oystercatchers return from the feeding grounds on the mudflats at Mangere, filling up the paddocks by the Manukau Boating Club near the end of Kiwi Esplanade.

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

Two Oystercatchers

Variable Oystercatchers (Haematopus Unicolor)

Variable Oystercatchers (Haematopus Unicolor)

Continuing yesterday’s theme of oystercatchers, we show a pair of Variable oystercatchers at Shelly Beach (on the way to the Kaipara South Head).

For more weekend reflections, go to James’ Weekend Reflections site.

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

Four Oystercatchers

Four Oystercatchers

Four Oystercatchers

The tide is rising, and soon the birds will have to move. These are variable oystercatchers (Haematopus unicolor), a species occurring in New Zealand only. In the background the Ngunguru sandspit.

Find more weekend reflections at James’ Newtown Area Photo.

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher in the Evening Light

Oystercatcher in the Evening Light

An oystercatcher is about to get its feet wet as the tide comes in and the sun goes out at Piha beach.

Find more weekend reflections at James’ Newtown Area Photo.

Three Oystercatchers

Three Oystercatchers

Three Oystercatchers

These are South Island Pied Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus), in Wood Bay (map). When the tide comes in, they are pushed from the mudflats of the Manukau Harbour to the shore — where a photographer might be expecting them. We had a lot of rain recently, but yesterday’s long fine intervals gave this opportunity.

Don’t even think about red-eye correction!

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