Wednesday, 29 October 2008
The Egret Hunter.
I saw the egret again at Awatapu lagoon but its SO timid. I can't get very close at all and he seems to know I'm stalking him. Its not an easy place to sneak up on him either. I have observed him for long enough now to recognise his feeding patterns so I got ahead of him around the bend and scrambled down a bank hiding in the bushes to wait for him to get there. I thought I'd sit still and quiet and give him 40 minutes. After 3 minutes I noticed a funny smell. After 5 minutes I had bugs crawling up my shirt. After 7 minutes the dampness from the ground had soaked into my jeans. After 9 minutes I got cramp in my leg! Stuff it I thought and started back up the bank and nearly stood on a huge dead rat laying on the ground - so thats what that smell was! I got to the top of the bank to see the egret flying past....BUGGER. So much for the surveillance, I hadn't lasted ten minutes! Thats why all my photos of the egret are of it flying off into the wild blue yonder.
The coot babies at Sullivans lake are growing fast. Another coot family further around the lake haven't been so lucky. One of the babies was killed by a pukeko I've been told. They can be very territorial those pooks. Mind you I've seen the coot parents chase bigger birds away from the nest without any problem pukekos included.
I'm happy to say the coots get better looking as they grow up. A classic case of "ugly duckling syndrome" to be sure.