I am still working my way through the images from my trip to Miranda and the shore birds. Growing up in South Auckland, I was very familiar with the Miranda area and especially the hot pools. I remember many a picnic lunch at the pools with family and friends. I also remember lots of Sunday drives along the Kaiaua Coast. They are fond memories and they have nothing to do with the bird life there. As a child all I was interested in was the beach to play on and the Kaiaua fish and chip shop. So when I started hearing about the shore birds at Miranda I delved into my memory banks and came up blank. I knew there was a beach, I knew what it looked like and where it was but back when I was playing on that beach there was no shore bird centre or at least I don’t think there was. I listened to what everyone was saying about the place but I saw few images of birds taken there. My expectations were growing with every conversation and the Shore Bird Centre’s website only fuelled that. I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed with what was there. There was no shortage of birds that is for sure, but access to photographing them was something else. The hides are set up for bird watching, not photography and from my point of view were not close enough to the birds to be of any great use. Add to that the tourists ignored the hides and the signage and stepped right up onto the shell banks with their cameras and binoculars. Each time they did this the birds all took flight! I saw a lot of pied stilts (and a couple of hybrids) and even more wry bills and godwits, and I am sure there were many other bird species amongst them, but when they took flight they were just clouds of birds. I don’t think I have ever seen so many birds in the sky at the same time, it was like something out of a Hitchcock movie! I did my best to capture the swarms of birds in the sky but the reality is so much better than what I can get in one image. Thousands and thousands of birds all moving in unison with each other swooping one way and then the other. It was like there was one leader and everyone else was just following that one bird – all in their place and all keeping up the same pace. It really was an amazing site and I am glad I saw it even if I was a little disappointed at not getting any good close up shots of the birds.