There was a doozie of a frost here this morning: at least one website told me minus 3C. But the morning was calm and sunny, and I had a new GPS unit to test out, so I set it for a journey to the Manawatu Estuary at Foxton Beach. And en route, you could see snow on the tops of the Tararua Ranges- so it was no surprise we had such a frost!
Quite a few people were at the wharf by the Estuary when I arrived, enjoying the peace and calm of such a Sunday morning.
The Manawatu Estuary is in fact listed under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance. It hosts various birds from the Arctic, including godwits, that make their way down here for feeding during our summer months, then return north to breed in the northern summer.
In autumn the godwits leave our shores, but the Manawatu Estuary then plays host to some visitors who arrive from further south in New Zealand, such as the royal spoonbills and the pied oystercatcher, who spend their winter in slightly warmer climes.
So here are photos of four of the birds I saw at the Estuary today. (Maalie- I know you will correct me if I have misidentified any of these!)