Hawkes Bay

A wander around Ahuriri Estuary.

It’s raining outside, a lot. There’s flooding up north, and more rain is on the way. The sun seems to have forgotten us, and winter has reclaimed our sunny bay. So, let me take you for a winter wander, when the sun did shine, endlessly, when it was too warm for a coat and blue was the colour of the day.

Ahuriri Estuary is on the northern outskirts of Napier. It’s an easy walk of about an hour and the path is family friendly. You can bring your dog as long as she’s on a lead. Despite this restriction our Phoebe loved coming here, right til the end. This was our first wander without her.

Looking towards Bluff Hill, Napier, New Zealand

Looking towards Bluff Hill, Napier, New Zealand

Part of the walk connects to the Hawkes Bay cycle way, which takes you to the beach or to wineries—you choose.

Ahuriri Estuary, Napier, New Zealand

Ahuriri Estuary, Napier, New Zealand.

We were keen on a longer walk and we took the path beneath the expressway that gives access to the less frequented part of the estuary. Channels were incorporated into the design of the expressway to allow for the tidal flow.

The expressway, Ahuriri Estuary, Napier New Zealand

The expressway, Ahuriri Estuary, Napier New Zealand.

At last, people! These kids were having a great time and, as you can see, they didn’t need to worry too much about who else was on the path. It was just them and us.

Sharing the track

Sharing the track.

We continued on, through a stand of eucaplytps, until we reached a large area, populated with hundreds of birds.

No matter how stealthy I was, those birds turned their backs whenever I approached. I should have taken Perelincolors advice and brought some food. Although, on second thoughts, perhaps not. With so many birds I might have created a new scene for the Hitchcock classic. (I watched that movie when I was a kid, at home—alone. It changed the way I thought about birds, forever.)

Twitching, Ahuriri Estuary, Napier, New Zealand

These birds were noisy, like geese, but I’m not much of a twitcher so I can’t tell you what they are—only that they’re not godwits.

But, if you’re a keen twitcher this is the place for you. The estuary attracts a variety of migratory birds, including wry bills, royal spoonbills, and bar-tailed godwits. The godwits will be arriving back in New Zealand over the next few weeks. Now, they’re a bird that fascinates me. They make the longest known non-stop flight of any bird, flying the approximately 12,000 miles from Siberia to New Zealand over eight days. They lose up to half their body weight during the journey. That’s a keen traveller for you.

Although it was the afternoon and only a couple of ks from the centre of town, looking inland it seemed as if we were in the middle of the country-side. Except for the ubiquitous lines connecting us to the grid.

Looking towards Te Waka from the estuary.

Looking towards Te Waka,  the estuary is behind me.

WordPress Photo Challenge: Grid 

For more walks from around the world visit Jo
Jo’s in Poland at the moment but she’ll be back soon.

27 replies »

  1. It’s so great to live somewhere with such walks almost on the doorstep – we do too! There’s always a place to pop out to in a hurry if you get an unexpectedly good day. Great pictures – the first is my favourite. That blue!

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  2. Oh, so blue on this dull grey wet day. Such a lovely open area to walk in, feels very peaceful. Those birds on the water look like Canada Geese, they seem to live everywhere! I have realised that we live on a goose migratory flightpath as there seems to be an awful lot of skeins of geese flying overhead at the moment. They obviously have far better sense than to stay here for the winter. I wonder if I would lose half my body weight if I followed them? Probably not, despite the rubbish you get fed on airlines these days 😉

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  3. It’s one of my great delights as you know Jill to wander by the sea. This looks idyllic! I spent a fair bit of time stalking sea birds in the Algarve. Rarely with success. What a lovely memory of Phoebe x

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