On the weekend a mate and I drove down the Peninsula and visited the Coolart Wetlands and then onto Hasting Pier for lunch and a spot of birdwatching across the mudflat (as you do)…the tide was rising so many of the birds were pushed to the far bank and not easily seen. At the carpark there is a boat ramp and the fishermen clean the fish and feed the Pelicans. The Pelicans are so focussed on a free feed that they ignore everything else. They are quite a large bird and can be a challenge to photograph – but are very interesting with all the feathers, long bill, large eyes and throat pouch. I like Pelicans: big, confident and goofy on land but majestic in the air.
Pelican, Hasting Harbour
Pelicans waiting for the next fish scrap to be tossed
Pelican, Hasting Harbour
Coming back from spending some time at the family farm, I stopped at Hastings to have a look at the mudflats at low tide. Hastings has a popular fishing harbour as well as a mixed industry site. A good amount of work has been done to turn it into a seaside town with a growing tourism market. There is a nice tree lined walk right along the edge of the mudflats and mangroves. Pelican Pier has a cafe with great views of the harbour. I have not been there for a long time and I was surprised to find that it is a pretty interesting place with a lot of scope for bird and general photography. There is a pier with lots of fishermen in action at low tide, many birds (Ibis, Egrets, Spoonbills, Swans & Pelicans) out on the mudflats that move up closer to the shore when the tide comes in and at least a dozen Pelicans hanging around looking for a free feed from the fishermen as they fillet and clean their catch.
Hastings Harbour – heavy industry amongst the mangroves and Great Egrets
An old fishing boat wreck out on the mudflat island. I did not notice the hovercraft in the background until I processed the image.
Pied Cormorant – it took a bit effort to get the fish down. The cormorant kept juggling the fish trying to get it down head first. He got it in the end….
Silver vs Pacific Gull – to see the two together gives you an idea of the size difference – the Pacific Gull is a big bird.
Pelican – stretching and drying, and maybe telling stories about the one that got away….
Pelican – everything gets a stretch.
Pelican – with a long neck and bill you can pretty much reach anywhere….
Pelican in the mangroves
The pelicans did not mind me too much as I got in close while they waddled in to the fish cleaning tables. I took a number of close shots of their feathers, eyes and beak throat pouch skin