Last time I was up Hastings way I passed what looked to be a new walkway of some sort that was in the process of being built. This time I was able to stop and visit. The Pekapeka Wetlands have been turned into a place to be with nature. You can walk across the board walks, sit and relax in the sunshine and enjoy the birds going about their daily tasks around you.

Juvenile black swans feeding on the weeds.

The Welcome Swallows were doing their best to chase us away from one area. It was near a bird watching hide that had been built in the middle of some really tall vegetation making it impossible to see any birds, but I suspect the swallows had a nest in their somewhere. They were dive bombing us trying to move us on. It worked, we moved.

Welcome Swallows

The Australian Coots were a delight to see because this family was a bit older than the ones we photographed in Palmerston North. The chicks were at their juvenile stage where they had lost their ugly faces and orange feathers and now looked sleek and black like the parent birds, just missing the white front plate.

Australian Coots – parent and four juveniles

It was also the first time I had photographed a Dabchick. While I got to see it quite a bit as it motored away from us all the time then dove into the water, it was very hard to get a good shot of. I think it was underwater as much as it was on top. Cute little guy though.


There is obviously more development happening in and around the wetlands and I am sure it is going to get better and better from a photographer’s point of view. I loved that there was seating where we could just sit and wait for the bird life to grow accustomed to our being there with them and move closer to us. Bird photography often requires a huge amount of patience and this is a place I will go back to.

Australian Coot – adult

Australian Coot – Juvenile

Goldfinch at the carpark of the wetlands

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