Survival of the strongest…

IMG_5228-blogFor the last five weeks we have been going to see the pied shag nests to follow the growth of the chicks.  It is hard not to form some little attachment to the chicks in this time as we watch them grow bigger and bigger each week.  They turned from ugly alien looking things to the fluffy cute chicks they are today. Unfortunately when we arrived today there was something missing.  There was only one chick in each nest instead of two!IMG_5285-blogHaving spoken to one of the Zealandia staff we found out that the body of the missing chick in the closest nest was seen floating in the water a few days ago. Being the smallest of the two it was weak and didn’t manage to get as much food as its stronger sibling.  So it effectively starved to death.  We were told that it was likely the same had happened in the other nest however they hadn’t seen the missing chicks body.  When I started processing these images I realised that the missing chick’s body is still in the nest and that its sibling is literally walking all over it.  You can see it to the right of the chick.IMG_5138-blogI didn’t spend a great deal of time with the shags today as it was very windy and they weren’t doing a lot without the parent birds there – unlike last week when they had another chick to interact with.  A Mallard duck and her brood came over to see us as we were leaving. The wind was making waves in the water and I liked the way the family coped with the dips.IMG_5297-blogI went looking for Saddlebacks but didn’t find any.  Didn’t find much of anything other than Tui this trip and there was a huge number of them flitting about in the trees.  On our return I saw a kaka fly in and managed to get a shot of it before it took off again. It will be nice when this nasty wind stops and we can enjoy a long hot summer!IMG_5406-blog

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