SEABIRD COAST PHOTOGRAPHY TRIP

Date Changes announced 12th October


 


After discussions with Dave Teskey, convenor for this shoot, the date for this shoot has changed from Sunday 3rd November to Sunday 10th November.


 


The reason being the tide is very early on the 3rd November and we did not think many people would be keen to start shooting at 7am. Whereas on the 10th November high tide is 13.25hrs with a meeting time of 10.30am at Miranda Shorebird Centre (283 East Coast Road, Miranda).


 


I am sorry for any inconvenience this change may cause.  Please confirm if you are able to attend on the new date 10th Nov.  If you are unable to attend let me know and we may be able to make an early bird group on the 3rd November.


 


The tide is of the utmost importance in shooting wading birds.  The idea being that you enter the hide as the tide is coming in; as the tide approaches full tide, the birds are pushed closer and closer to the hide.


 


The following people have registered.  All participants have been notified of the change by email.


Feel free to contact each other to form car pools.


 


 


 


 


I am also publishing a note from Dave giving more details.


 


Hi Ronald


I have just recently returned from Miranda.


Had a good look around and can report as follows:


High tide for Sunday 10th November is at 1325hrs – a 4 metre tide. (This is quite a high tide for the area and apparently, the higher the tide, the better the sightings are likely to be). That means that the best viewing will be from 1125hrs. I would recommend that we meet at the Miranda Shorebird Centre (283 East Coast Road, Miranda) at 1030hrs. This will give some time for us to then proceed about 2km south on East Coast Road to the parking area for the hides. A short walk of about 400 metres to the main hide and if we all go together (as much as possible) it will allow time for setting up and for the birds to settle down. As you approach the hide the sound of feet crunching on the shell path does disturb the birds feeding close in but they soon settle down again. Today I had stilts, sandpipers and a few godwits coming within about 10 metres of the hide. (It was an excellent day for photography, a high and heavy overcast provided a lovely diffused light, and the wind made bird flight relatively slow).


My wife is quite happy to stay in this parking area to guard against vehicle break-ins on the 10th. Apparently there have not been many recently but they do occur from time to time. It would be most unfortunate if one of our group suffered a burglary. Alternatively, participants can leave their cars parked at the Shorebird Centre and walk south along a well-formed path about 2.5km to the hide.


Essential Services


There are toilets at the Shorebird Centre. Books, novelties and other information is for sale along with displays of various bird life commonly seen in the area.


Food Availability


There are several food outlets within an easy distance – Takeaways and meals at the Miranda hot springs about 5km south from the Shorebird Centre, full meals and snacks at the Hotel in Kaiau (we enjoyed a very generous fish and chip meal quite well priced), about 10km north of Shorebird Centre, where there is also a garage and dairy which serves snacks and coffee.


Accommodation


Should any members consider staying overnight, there is accommodation available at the Centre which offers self-contained units as well as bunk rooms. There are also a variety of other accommodation opportunities in the area – including the Miranda hot springs.


Wreck


About 15 km north of the Shorebird Centre (through Kauai) there is a Stevenson quarry. It is no longer used and can only be accessed on foot. There are signs warning that this is private property, but we ventured in and had a good look at an old decaying shipwreck which sits beside the wharf extension. (The area was completely deserted.) A very good photo opportunity, and I think I have some nice shots. I did some research and have been able to (subsequently) contact the caretaker. I have explained that we have a group of photographers visiting the area on 10/11/13, some of whom may be interested to photograph the wreck. He has said that this should be no problem. There are warning signs cautioning that the wreck is very dangerous and should not be entered. The wooden hulk is clearly in an advanced state of decay and the deck timbers are quite obviously unsafe, therefore the signs warning against entering or stepping onto the wreck should be observed.


Directions


The most direct route to the Shorebird Centre is via State Highway 2 (signposted to Coromandel and Tauranga) Turn off S/H 2 to Mangatawhiri (signposted to Miranda) and follow the Mangatawhiri  Road onto Miranda Road and subsequently turn left onto East Coast Road. The Shorebird Centre is approximately 3 km on the left at 283 East Coast Road. Approximately 1 – 1.25 hours from Auckland city, and about 40 minutes from the turnoff onto S/H 2.


Other possible photographic opportunities


There are a number of sites along the road between the Shorebird Centre and Kaiau (heading north) where you can drive off the main road onto a track which runs parallel to the shore line. (There are campervans usually parked along this area). Patience will usually be rewarded by birds flying in to bathe, eat, sunbathe (and attend to various other “bodily functions”). A particularly good area to go to particularly when the tide has receded some distance from the shore.


General observation


This is a very picturesque area, with sweeping views across the Thames Estuary to the Coromadel Peninsular. On a stormy day (like today) there are very impressive panoramic views and the foreboding clouds made for a very dramatic backdrop. On a sunny day this area is an absolutely delightful spot. Between the birds, shipwreck and panoramas, I think our members will be very satisfied with this outing! Members should NOT be deterred by any inclement weather, as the hide provides complete shelter from the elements. There are seats within the hide and opening windows at varying heights clearly designed for photographers. Comfortably able to fit 6 – 8 photographers with tripods and their gear and if we are all considerate, there should be no problem for up to 12.


We really enjoyed our day out and I am looking forward to re-visiting the area on 10th of next month.


The Shorebird Centre has a web site here:


Miranda Shorebird Centre


 This site gives up-to-date information on the birds recently observed in the area.


Sorry this is a rather lengthy email but I hope it provides useful information to members booked and/or members considering committing to this outing.


Kind Regards


David




 


 


 


Original message


The Seabird Coast (Miranda Foreshore) is visited by over 130 different bird species every year and offers unique opportunities to observe and photograph birds in their natural habitat.


 


Commencing at the Shorebird Centre, there are two walking tracks, one of 5 minutes' and the other of approximately 30 minutes' duration, which lead to large hides from which the wading species can be observed feeding and preening.


 


October heralds the arrival of the godwit whose record-breaking migration from the northern hemisphere is an amazing feat. (These little birds fly 11,500km from Alaska to New Zealand non-stop in about 8 days!)


 


Oyster catchers


 


In all, there are 131 different species of birds which have been recorded in this area throughout the year. The Miranda Shorebird Centre has some excellent displays and information and the shop has a comprehensive range of books available for purchase.


 


In addition to the wealth of bird life and Shorebird Centre, this coast offers some spectacular scenery and a great shipwreck to hold any photographer's interest.


 


This event is scheduled for Sunday 27th October and the high tide (2.8metres) is due at 1.00pm. Ideal viewing times are from one hour before to one hour after high tide. The high tide brings the waders closer to the shore where flocks of thousands of birds are not uncommon.


 


Experienced members will be available to give guidance to beginners.


 


Note: Thefts from unattended vehicles are common in this area and we will be organizing a "guard" to look after vehicles in our party while participants are away at the hides or other areas distant from vehicle car parks.


 


COURSE CONVENER:  David Teskey


 


Red Bill Gull


 


WHO SHOULD ATTEND


The course is open to members and non-members. Please register your interest by enrolling below. Numbers are limited. No more than 15 participants will be enrolled.


 


 


WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING


Medium to long focal length lenses are recommended. Most photography will be hand-held but tripods may also be useful in some areas.


Comfortable walking shoes and clothing is advisable.


 


WHEN


New date 10th November  (Old date Sunday 3rd November 2013)


(Time may change to suit tides)   See above for meeting instructions



WHERE  


The Shorebird Centre car park. See above for meeting instructions


 


COST  Members $20.00 per person. Non-members $45.00 per person.


 


REGISTER  If space is available, you will be given a booking number and asked to pay immediately by bank transfer, If the event is sold out, you will be wait-listed. Once payment has been received you will receive official confirmation.


 


Details of the cancellation policy is given on the site. http://www.cpf.org.nz/content/index/15#