I’ve been in Dunedin a few days, an ‘accompanying person’ while my wife attended a conference there. A good chance to try to capture some of the wildlife that abounds on the Otago Peninsula. Like this spoonbill, for example:
This was a lucky shot. I was heading along a dusty road beside Hooper’s Inlet when I saw her. Unfortunately she saw me too, and moved off away from the road further out into the estuary.
On reflection, I think the success of this shot owes a bit to a course that I attended a few days earlier, run by Tom Ang. I’ll talk about it in a later post. One of the messages I took away with me was the need for patience. Tom sometimes waits for 30 mins or an hour before “some interesting happens” and he can get a fantastic shot.
Amyway, I was patient on this occasion. After half a hour or so, she must have decided that I wasn’t so much of threat because she came back in to where the fishing was obviously better.
She would stomp around with her feet, then use her bill to chase what had been stirred up.
Then she’d toss her head in the air, too fast for me to see what she had. I just took lots of pictures, trying to stop the action at that moment. It wasn’t until I got back and looked at the images on my old laptop that I saw what I had. Here it is again:
I was amused the next day when I again came across some spoonbills, this time in the neighbouring inlet. I think these must be males, for a couple of reasons. First, the crested plumage at their heads:
and second, their foolish, very competitive behaviour. One had managed to catch a flounder. It was too big for him to swallow, but even so the others chased him for ages. Finally they realised that even if they managed to get it off him they would not get a feed, so they left him alone. Eventually he gave up too, and let it go!