Perfect weather has been so scarce recently that when I saw the weather forecast for light winds and an early high tide I decided to ignore the prediction for some cloudy periods. I wanted to get out to the Airport Roost and count the shorebirds there before they all left for the northern hemisphere. When I got down to the shoreline to put the kayak in the water the sky was very dark. The water, however, was very still and beautiful.
After kayaking out to the roost we counted 45 in a mixed flock of Grey-tailed Tattlers and Terek Sandpipers, 20 Whimbrels, and 3 Greenshanks which were showing a lot of breeding plumage. We also saw some local shorebirds - 2 Pied Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, and a Pied Cormorant. It was too dark to get good photos of any of these birds - but then the sun broke through for a short time and it looked a totally different place.
When I got back to the shoreline where I had parked my car this little Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) was catching insects among the leaves washed up by the tide. I let the kayak drift in until the front came to rest on the sand and then just sat still. These birds are quite fearless! It watched me as carefully as I was watching it - and hopped closer until it was only a few inches from the front of the kayak. I love those eyebrows! The bird makes the eyebrows larger for a threat display - and its harsh chattering calls showed it did not like me so close to where it was looking for food.