Cryptic NZ dotterels

Dotterel 2

I went for a short kayak with my daughter the other day into the Weiti River mouth. After stopping to boil up lunch on one of the shellbanks we had a quick look to see what birds were around. As you can see in the photo above we quickly found a pair of NZ dotterels. Well thats the thing about these birds, their colouring blends so well with the beachscape they live in that it’s easy to miss them, and often it is only their movement which gives them away.

Dotterel 1

Zoom in a bit and there they are. Bear in mind too that , as in this photo, beaches were more littered with driftwood in the past before the land was cleared for farming.

A little further on were pied stilts, variable oystercatchers and 50-60 godwits waiting till the tide ebbed and they could resume feeding.

Godwits, Stillwater


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