Friday at Tawharanui was one of those sparkling spring days, warm and with a flat calm sea. Out near Tokatu Point the guttural calls of pied shags (Phallacrocorax varius) drifted up from the beach to the clifftop track I was on. There were about 40 shags on the beach and a few still coming ashore and jostling for position in the group – yet the rest of the beach was empty. A lesson in shag psychology.
I picked up the egg shell below on the rocks under a pied shag colony on the coast at Mangawhai just north of Tawharanui. The ‘dirt’ on the plate is actually pohutukawa (Metrosideros) seed which was gathered in the egg shell.