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Recent Items

Small bird on branches.

Riroriro, Grey Warbler

I had heard the Riroriro, Grey Warbler, hundreds of times before I ever managed to spot one. Then I got lucky. This is one of our smallest birds, with a distinctive song. Riroriro, Grey Warbler: Length: 11 cm; Weight: 5.5 - 6.5 g Similar species: Silvereye A tiny slim songbird that is olive-grey above with a grey face and off-white…

New spinifex growth around a large piece of driftwood buried in sand.

Driftwood works hard to build the beach

It feels as though there haven’t been so many people lately sawing up big bits of driftwood on the beach. At the same time, it feels as though the beach is developing rapidly: building up, changing shape, and creating little dunes. Are these two things connected? Well, maybe. A bit of searching led me to this interesting (and brief) Department…

Brightly coloured Eastern Rosella on a flax spear.

Eastern Rosella

You can hear their chittering generally before you see them flash past. If you’re lucky they might land somewhere nearby and stay for a few minutes. The Eastern Rosella is a colourful bird, with: a bright red head, white cheek patches, yellow belly. yellow-green upper back mottled with black, bright green rump, dark blue upperwings with bright blue shoulders, and…

Partial screenshot of dolphin identification PDF.

Dolphins just off Waikawa Beach

A friend was excited to have spotted dolphins just off the Waikawa Beach coast the other day. The dolphins were heading towards the Kāpiti Marine Reserve. Keep your eyes open. And if you’ve seen any dolphins (or other marine species) and especially if you have photos, please let me know at admin@wow-waikawa.nz . See Dolphins: New Zealand marine mammals (DoC)…

Dead eel in shallow water.

Dead eels at Waiorongomai Stream mouth

Saddened today to discover half a dozen dead eels at the mouth of the Waiorongomai Stream. Each eel was about a metre long. I’ve been researching eels but am unsure if they’re Longfin or Shortfin. Some information about eels: How to tell apart the three species of freshwater eels in New Zealand - each species is unique in its own…

Small beach bird whose bill turns to the right.

The Wrybill

In March 2021 I thought I was taking photos of Dotterels at our beach. But I’d recently visited Foxton Estuary and the information boards had made me aware of Ngutuparore, Wrybills: The wrybill is a small pale plover which breeds only in braided rivers of the South Island. It is the only bird in the world with a laterally-curved bill…

Two black shags by the river.

Little Black Shag

There is a colony of Pied Shags just upstream of the footbridge but one day I thought I saw an all-black shag fly past me. This was recently confirmed by Marion Cherry, who kindly sent the photo above of two Kawau Tūī, Little black shags: Length: 61 cm; Weight: 800 g Similar species: Little shag, Black shag A medium-sized shag…

Blackbird singing atop a flax spear, with blue sky behind.

Blackbird, Manu Pango

So common you don't often think of photographing them: the Blackbird, Manu Pango. These from September and November 2021. Length: 25 cm Weight: 90 g Similar species: Song thrush A medium-sized songbird that is entirely black in adult males with a yellow bill, a yellow eye-ring around the dark eye, and long reddish-brown legs. Adult females are mostly dark brown,…

4 spoonbills and an Oystercatcher in flight above the beach.

Big List of 56 Waikawa Beach Birds

Over the 7+ years I've been visiting or living at Waikawa Beach I've come to realise we have a lot of birds around here. We have several environments: rural, urban (village), coast, lake, wetland, exotic forest. I'm no bird expert, but as I've noticed or taken photos of various birds I've researched what I've seen and drawn conclusions I hope…

Rock Pigeon on a post.

Rock Pigeons

Cities everywhere are plagued by Rock Pigeons but I only recently realised there are a few that hang out at Waikawa Beach too. I’ve spotted them on the corner of Sarah Street and Strathnaver Drive and on the paddock of the farm at the village entrance. This bird didn’t want to hang around for photos.