Monday, 26 October 2009

Shagging around.

One georgous morning early last week I couldn't help but stop off along the riverbank on the way to my studio. Strangely there were no whitebaiters but this Pied Shag was having a successful morning capturing a tasty looking flounder (or perhaps a sole? not really up with fish names.)

You can almost see an expression of complete surprise on the "face" of the flounder have faces? But now I'm just being anthropomorphic which is not a trait I'm normally prone to.

There are 12 species of shags that breed in New Zealand. Below is the little black shag, not to be confused with the black shag which is...well...bigger. I love their emerald coloured eyes, strangely like the colour of the water they inhabit around the wharves on a sunny day. I took this photo on Friday morning at the Whakatane Wharf.
I spent the long weekend with family in Tauranga and on Saturday had a walk around the Mount. At the harbour entrance we paused to take in the view. A short way back along the track was a bench seat which some tourists were making good use of. Unbeknown to them there was a large colony of shags nesting in the pohutukawas above them. It wasn't long before the tourists were doused in a rather foul smelling spattering of guano (bird shit) & obviously they were not impressed. I had to wonder why they didn't notice the surrounding ground was white with shag poos, surely that would ring alarm bells? This begs the question - did someone at the Tauranga Council in the parks division have a sick sense of humour when deciding where to position the park benches? Heh heh heh.

Below is a pic I took last summer. There were thousands of little fish at the Whakatane wharf and this shag was one of a number that were chasing large shoals of them up the boat ramp. The shag would snap them up as they leapt out of the water to escape from it. I really like this photo as you can see a couple of the fish have landed on the shags back but fortunately for them he already has one in his mouth.

1 comment:

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

It's a wonder they didn't hear the almost primate like screeching of the shags! lol. As for the council...well who ever knows what they are thinking! Awesome pics, have photographed those nests myself.

Lovely emerald eyes, I never knew that!