One of the benefits of working for myself, is that I can give myself a short working week. Fridays are the day I have set aside for my photography. When the weather doesn’t play nice, then I can work on tidying up my images and get on with cataloguing them, but when it is good then I am looking for somewhere to go.
Lately my Fridays have been devoted to the wetlands at the Queen Elizabeth II Park and the dabchick family that resides there. It has been fun following the growth of the chicks as they go from being little balls of cuteness on their parent’s backs, to now starting to look more the size of their parents and there is no more riding on backs.
This Friday I arrived just as the park opened and the water was like a mirror. I am always surprised by how fast the light can change, making the colours in the pond so totally different, and the slightest bit of wind changes it from being a mirror to a rippled reflection of the sky. I enjoyed playing with the reflections for a bit while waiting for the dabchicks to return.
The wetlands has a large amount of birdlife and even when the dabchicks aren’t visible, there is always something to photograph. I enjoyed watching a pukeko catch and consume a cicada. I love the way they can make those large claws hold something so delicately while they eat it.
The shags are predators of the dabchick babies and when they are about the chicks are well protected by their parents. I am amazed the dabchicks have managed to successfully raise both chicks so far. The shags are always on the look out for an easy dinner.
As the chicks have been growing, so have the tadpoles in the pond. Now most of them have either morphed into small frogs, or are almost there with just a shrinking tail to get rid of. They still make a juicy meal for the dabchicks no mater what stage of growth they are in.