Last week I was working on the ‘other side of town’ near to PB’s Mum’s place. The hours I was working left me plenty of time to take Diva the dog for a few walks. She’s been missing out on her walks since MIL had surgery. I really enjoyed walking in a different area of town too. Diva is a Border collie so she’s pretty energetic , but she seems to be well behaved on walks – more so than the canine rascals at this house!! MIL lives nearer to the river
and the beach, so there’s lots of great places to walk. We got in some walks on the streets,
along the flood wall
and a newish track through a reclaimed area that used to be a rubbish (garbage) dump.
I saw two White Herons, which was a most amazing thing. I’ve only ever seen one in any particular place before. There was one on each side of the flood wall. Unfortunately they are never close enough to get a decent photo with our little point & shoot camera – so look at the links for better photos. We also saw swans & ducks and a White-Faced Heron.
The White Heron (Egretta alba modesta) or Kotuku is quite a rare bird in New Zealand. They breed in only one place near Okarito in South Westland, which you can only see by going on the one tour which has Department of Conservation permission to go into the area. PB & I did the tour a few years back and it’s something I’d like to do again one day. Outside the breeding season solitary kotuku can sometimes be seen throughout New Zealand in estuaries and other waterways.
It is thought that Kotuku were never particularly common in New Zealand but they became endangered as their beautiful plumes were very desirable for decorating ladies’ hats later in the 1800’s. There are perhaps only a couple of hundred at most in New Zealand, although the E. Alba modesta has a wide range including Australia & parts of Asia. A closely related subspecies may be known to my Northern hemisphere readers as the Great Egret.