Story of some Brits living in New Zealand for the Southern Hemisphere Winter in 2004
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Friday, June 18, 2004

Shag Flight

I can't remember where we heard it said that the Shag (Cormorant) is a quite easily identifiable in flight because it has all the grace of a flying brick. It may have been at the Albatross Centre on the Otago Peninsula where we first heard the Shag's flying abilities denounced.

I watched one take off from a rock at the water's edge tonight and couldn't help but smile at its launch into the air, first belly floppying twice into the sea. Perhaps the Shag's flying ability and resemblance to a penguin spell a flightless future in evolutionary terms!

The Redcliffs Estuary is home to loads of other birds too, some of which you can see on the website. We also saw a white faced heron tonight.

Ann-Marie also told me about the Godwit. This is a migratory bird which the Kiwi's (people!) make a big fuss about. Their migratory journey is so rough and involves 7 days without food, that the Kiwi's are careful to leave them alone at their feeding grounds so they can fatten up for the trip. Kiwi's apparently have Godwit welcome parties and Godwit leaving parties!


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