Last Sunday just after breakfast I was sitting at the picnic table in front of the first tree opposite the little beach settlement of Kaiaua, just north of Miranda. I had with me a telescope and camera. There was thin cloud, a cold brisk wind, and it was about 90 minutes after high tide. This information is included so I sound like a proper twitcher.
With the help of photoshop, with which I've stuck three images together and moved a few birds around, I present to you, this panorama.
I was there mostly to see the first bird: the Eastern Curlew. An unusual visitor, it should be up in Russia breeding by now, and rarely comes to New Zealand at all, even in summer. It's the biggest wader with a wingspan of over a metre, and there are only about 20 thousand left. Look at that magnificent decurved bill (down-curved beak).
There are eight other avian species in the panorama. I've enlarged them. Spot the little ruddy turnstones near the caspian tern and the two NZ dotterals directly above. There are only about 1700 left of these.
The ducks probably find the beach a safer haven than the inland ponds at the moment. Don't worry ducks! Duck sooting season will be over soon (5/5 - 31/7).
The last image, as you have probably guessed, is not a wader at all, but a member of the domestic cat family. There are plenty of these left. In fact, they are probably not likely to be endangered anytime soon. This one was directly across the road behind me and had been watching me with interest the whole two hours I was there sketching and photographing.