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Four large black and white birds standing in shallow sea water.

25 He aha tērā? Pied Shag

This large black and white bird is seen on the river, on the beach and flying overhead. It’s often observed with wings outstretched, sunning itself. There’s a whole colony of them in the trees just upstream from the footbridge. He aha tērā? What is that? Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission. Answer: it’s a kawau, pied shag: Identification: Length:…

Large black and white bird seeming to strike a pose.

That dorky shag

I have much to learn about taking photos of shags in trees. They don’t seem really photogenic up there. Still, this one was looking delightfully dorky! Photo by Miraz Jordan and used with permission.

Wow Waikawa! photo riddles Sheet B

Can you solve the riddles to spot the photos? When you find a photo make a sketch, or take a photo, or write something about what's in the photo and where it is. Sheet A and Sheet B have different riddles for the same photos. PDF of Sheet B to print at home (2 MB). Note: sadly, photos 47 and…

Mainly brown frog, facing camera, on leaves.

24 He aha tērā? What is that?

You may find one or more of these hopping around your garden. It’s mainly brown with a green stripe down its back. You may hear it — its call is a kind of rawk rawk hmm hmm (or perhaps like a car that won’t start). He aha tērā? What is that? Answer: it’s a Southern Bell frog: The Southern Bell…

Wendy and Peter Clark display (partial).

Christmas Lights 2021

One of the delightful things about Waikawa Beach is the Christmas Lights. Wendy and Peter Clark put up a huge animated display with a Santa and elves who busy themselves with presents. Other folks put up assorted lights from simple strings on a gate to lavish house decorations, or even lights on a very tall tree at the village entrance. A…

Very colourful bird on a fence.

23 He aha tērā? Rainbow Lorikeet

This very colourful bird has been spotted in the village recently, but shouldn’t be here at all. It has a red bill, blue head, yellow neck, green body and red breast. It’s not an eastern rosella though. He aha tērā? What is that? Photo by Fred Hirst. Used with permission. Answer: it’s a rainbow lorikeet: Identification: Length: 28 cm; Weight:…

Small brown quadruped with white chest and beady eyes.

22 He aha tērā? What is that?

This mammal looks so handsome with reddish-brown fur on its back and a white or cream coloured underbelly. It’s a vicious killer though, and devastating to birdlife. Unfortunately it’s common at Waikawa Beach — one Strathnaver resident has trapped nearly a dozen over the last few years. Others have lost hens or quail to this killer. He aha tērā? What…

Two large white birds wading in shallow water.

21 He aha tērā? Royal Spoonbill

You’ll see these large elegant all-white birds sweeping their long black bills with rounded ends through the water in the estuary or the lakes. The crest on the top of their head gives them a regal appearance. He aha tērā? What is that? Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission. Answer: it’s a kōtuku ngutupapa, royal spoonbill:: Identification: Length: 74…

Long thin transparent creatures with prominent black eyes, swimming in a bucket of water.

20 He aha tērā? What is that?

These tiny water creatures are much sought after by people and birds in spring and early summer. They are most easily found in the river. He aha tērā? What is that? Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission. With thanks to the whitebaiter who allowed me to take a photo of their catch. Answer: they are whitebait Whitebait are the…