Friday, 7 August 2015

Dawn at Rotorua...Dusk at Dotterell point

My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being.
Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!
I WILL give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples’ I WILL sing praises to you AMONG THE NATIONS.                                                                                                                                                                Psalm 108

Dawn at Hot Water Beach, Rotorua. Unwittingly, we had chosen a campsite next to the historic Maori village and the lakeside. The dawn over the lake was heralded by black swans and red-billed gulls, with the odd scaup, shag and puheko.

Then off to Dotterell Point, a long spit of land sheltering one of the many little harbours which make up the Bay of Plenty coastline.  Plenty of dotterels – a flock of banded dotterels and several pairs of New Zealand dotterel.

And, apparently, the Variable Oystercatcher – which has seemed ubiquitous to us as we have journeyed down North Island’s east coast – is a rare species....

An added bonus: we’d been here just a few minutes when a young seal lolloped painfully across the grass in front of us. He kept stopping, lifting his head, before dragging himself into the dunes.  He looked thin...

....but we were pleased to see that he had taken himself off by the next morning. Another beach walk, sand stretching further than the eye could see...another sunrise...surfers already out at the break, having walked across the shallow estuary at low tide, then out on the sandbanks.

After days of intermittent rain, the sun shone brightly in a clear sky, glinting on the puddles. A Caspian Tern (taranui, an uncommon native gull – though found frequently along the east coast) flew in to the end of the spit. It seemed as if everything breathed a sigh of relief after the windy wet storms...

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