Return to Muriwai

Gannet again

It’s getting close to the end of the gannet’s season in beautiful New Zealand. They spend the summer here, but care not for our cold wet and blustery winters – they head over to Australia and indulge in their tropical winters. But they’ll be back in the spring to mate and lay eggs and nurture their young. It’s a bit scary looking at the young ones just now. The early hatchlings are now full sized, and while they do not have the adult colouring, they are stretching and flapping and getting ready to take off. (More about that tomorrow!) Then there are the late hatchlings, some still with nothing but baby down. They need more time – much more time… I thought this would be my last trip to see them this season, but perhaps I will make one more…


I just love this place – any time of year. Sadly a swimmer was killed by sharks in these waters earlier this week. Adam Strange was an athlete apparently out for a swim in a popular training spot a couple of hundred metres out. It appears he swam into a group of 3-4 sharks feeding in the area. You couldn’t really call it an attack, just a sad story of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And no, it does not happen often – the last time was in the 1960s. You’re in far more danger of getting caught in a rip tide and carried out to sea than meeting up with an aggro shark… Still – we couldn’t help but keep an eye on the spot where it happened. (Not in this photo.)

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6 thoughts on “Return to Muriwai

    1. Thank you… our west coast beaches are unlike anywhere else on earth, the sheer bigness of them – the black sand, the dunes, the birds, the foreshore that goes seemingless forever at low tide… you must come and see for yourself one day!


    1. Thanks! They’re amazing. I photographed them for three hours and when it was just too dark for the camera, I just sat and watched. They are fascinating… and the setting… hard to believe its about half an hour from my house!


    1. Thanks – it’s one of those amazing places… I get home and realise I’ve taken 5-10-20 photos of the exact same thing or spot… it’s just so beautiful I want to ‘capture’ it… as if more would do it better. Gives me the tough job of culling.


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