• Agglomerated pink shells.

    A Google image search led me to Megabalanus, and then I found my way to Pink Barnacles (Beach Barnacles Of New Zealand) · iNaturalist NZ.

    Of course I'd heard of barnacles but I had no idea that's what this is. It's not uncommon to find these on Waikawa Beach.

    See also Beloved Barnacles.

  • Today I attended a really interesting talk by Associate Professor Phil Battley, Zoology & Ecology Group, Massey University at the local Forest and Bird branch meeting.

    Red Knots … The Secrets they Hold

    Despite being the second-most numerous Arctic shorebird species to visit Aotearoa, the migrations of red knots / huahou to and from their Russian breeding grounds have been largely mysterious. …

    I haven't seen Red Knots at Waikawa Beach but they are found just up the road at the Manawatū Estuary.

    Forest and Bird talk on Red Knots - title slide shows the birds.
    Slide shows there are two subspecies and their flight paths to the Arctic.
  • It's been a whole week since I spotted an unusual visitor to Waikawa Beach and I assumed it had left. But today I again spotted the kōtuku white heron by the river and was able to get quite close. Such beautiful birds. 🐦

    Very large white bird on the riverbank with ducks in the water nearby.
    Very large white bird on the riverbank with neck folded and beak lifted a little.
    Very large white bird on the riverbank with beak open.
    Very large white bird on the riverbank with neck extended.
  • Something I love about Waikawa Beach …

    … is the wide open space, and lack of other people.

  • My day went awry in the best possible way. I cut short my bike ride to collect my Fuji X-T5 and take photos of a rare visitor to Waikawa Beach: a Kōtuku | White heron. 🐦

    Such amazing birds!

    Tall white bird stands tall beside a river.
    Pure white bird with sharp yellow beak and neck kinked flies across the image.
    Black shag in the river looks at the heron on the bank.

  • Ohhhh, folks on the Waikawa Beach Facebook group have been posting spectacular aurora photos … and I'm away up north. Darn!

  • Around 0720 a fuel tanker rolled a few Km north of Waikawa Beach. In spite of detours, that effectively closed the road so traffic north and south has been a nightmare all day.

    It's taking Deb ~3.5 hours to get home from Wellington (a 1.25 hour trip) because of backed up traffic. Photo from FB.

    Photo of a tanker truck upside down.
    Screenshot of part of a Facebook post.
  • OK Pacific Wave Appreciation Society — some gentle Waikawa Beach waves to start the day. 🌊

  • This morning I joined a couple of other members of the Horowhenua branch of Forest and Bird to do a bird count at Waikawa Beach estuary. We don't have so many birds around at the moment, but along with the usuals we spotted a flock of maybe 60 white-fronted terns, and also 5 banded dotterels. 🙌🏼 🐦

  • A mere 29 Km (by road), 25 minute drive south of Waikawa Beach is Peka Peka Beach. Small waves at Peka Peka Beach with Kāpiti Island in the background. For the Pacific Wave Appreciation Society. 🌊

    Small waves at Peka Peka Beach with Kāpiti Island in the background.
  • This item about Google Plus codes was really interesting: On the Navajo Nation, Accurate Mailing Addresses Save Lives.

    If you want to find your own Plus Code start with Technology - Plus Codes. It's very simple.

    For example, Hank Edwards Reserve at Waikawa Beach is at 846X+JF.

  • MB April Photo Challenge: windy 📷

    Sasha, tail flying, on a windy day at Waikawa Beach in August 2019.

    Black dog on the beach with fluffy tail flying in the wind.
  • Fun moment: distance between where I live now and where I was born: Distance Between Cities Places On Map Distance Calculator:

    18,759 km or 11,656 miles

    Thanks to @crossingthethreshold.

    Map with pointers at London, England and Waikawa Beach, Aotearoa.
  • Waikawa Beach, 20 March 2024. The Pacific Wave Appreciation Society appreciates even the smallest of waves. 🌊

    A calm seashore with only tiny waves.
  • Waikawa river mouth shines in the early morning.

    Pretty river mouth at Waikawa Beach.
  • In 2 days time I will be speaking to our local District Council for no more than 5 minutes on an incredibly divisive local topic: vehicle access to Waikawa Beach.

    The community has been polarised. I support a pedestrian-friendly beach where vehicles are not allowed. Refining my talk…

    Car stuck in river remnant.
  • Waves? What waves? 🐦

    Waikawa Beach, Aotearoa, for the Pacific Wave Appreciation Society. 🌊

  • West coast waves — at Waikawa Beach in Horowhenua in Aotearoa.

    See Jean’s west coast waves, North America.

  • Blokart on the beach.

    First time for everything: this Blokart had come up from Ōtaki. I haven't seen one on Waikawa Beach before.

  • This is super interesting (Waikawa Beach has a terrible erosion problem in one particular spot) — Cyclone Gabrielle: Parts of East Coast lost 10 metres of shoreline (my emphasis):

    "Commercially, they've been operating these very high resolution satellites for about the last 20 years, but it's probably only been over the last four or five years that the cost has come down, and the accessibility got to the point where you can order an image on your phone... or you can actually pay a little bit more and task a satellite to be over your beach at a particular time and take an image."

    He said it cost academic buyers about $20 per square kilometre. The higher the resolution, the higher the cost, but it was a gamechanger for scientific research, he said.

  • Special Moments from 2023

    I don't usually go in for yearly roundup posts but there were a lot of Special Moments in 2023. I did a bunch of stuff on behalf of the community, spent a lot of time taking photos of and learning about birds, bought some new gear that has proved useful, did a bit of travel, some people stuff, a few firsts, and Sasha the 16.5 year old dog passed in March.

    Community work

    • Set up Waikawa News (hosted at Micro.Blog) — a development from previous sites with a different focus
    • wrote 227 Waikawa News posts
    • received a $100 grant from Horowhenua District Council towards Waikawa News costs
    • helped plant spinifex on the beach
    • communicated with Horowhenua District Council about local beach issues; gave a 5 minute presentation before a meeting where decisions about vehicle access were made
    • did a lot of research on the topic of vehicles on beaches, especially Waikawa Beach and especially a petition from some in the community to run a vehicle track to the beach in an ecologically sensitive area near where we live
    • did a lot of research and communicated with a small group of like-minded folks about troublesome motorbikes on the beach; met with a Horowhenua District Councillor about the problem
    • gave feedback and suggestions to Horowhenua District Council about some of their Comms (the Meetings and Agendas web page) and was gratified to see changes implemented
    • watched many Horowhenua District Council meetings and workshops online or in person

    Bought (or sold)

    • Artisan Stand Mixer
    • Electrolux Ergorapido Hand Vacuum
    • Deejo Astro tattooed pocketknife
    • EV: MG4 Essence 64
    • EVNex charger for EV
    • Nikon Monarch 7 8x42 binoculars
    • Fujifilm X-T5 camera
    • sold Ōtaki rental property in May 2023

    Pets and wildlife

    • All year: Willow the dog visited frequently and even stayed overnight or I just took her for walks as her mums dealt with various severe health issues
    • January: Saw an Australasian Bittern for myself
    • February: 1 year since Oshi the dog died
    • March: Glee the Japanese Quail died
    • March: Sasha the dog had her last day
    • June: saw Snow Leopards at Wellington Zoo
    • November: saw an unusual visitor to Waikawa Beach: a Glossy Ibis
    • November: spotted a new bird at Waikawa Beach: a black-fronted dotterel
    • December: kept an eye on various baby birds on the beach: Pied Stilts and Variable Oystercatchers


    • worked out a solstice based calendar because 01 January is such an arbitrary date for a new year — 21 June 2022 (at 2113) was Day 0
    • worked through a really useful course course: Mastering the Fujifilm Autofocus System
    • regular brunches with a good friend
    • 15 February 2023: a 6.1 quake got me out of the house
    • 17 April 2023: Start of 4 weeks plus really sick, not Covid, probably flu
    • 12 May 2023: first almost-frost of the season (the frosts kept coming till mid-November)
    • gave a presentation about MarsEdit for Micro Camp on 21 May 2023
    • 11 June 2023: went for a midwinter dip in the sea
    • 16 June 2023: ran Starry Time, a 30 minute time on the beach with whoever turned up looking and talking about the night sky; other Starry Time events later in the year were cancelled for weather
    • June 2023 made a 2300 Km car trip to Cape Reinga and return, visiting friends along the way
    • June 2023: started regular massages with Natalie Waddell, a superb massage therapist
    • 18 July 2023: saw the Starlink satellite train of maybe 30 or 50 satellites — an amazing sight, though I know the problems these and other satellites are creating for astronomy and humans in general
    • July 2023: watched FIFA Women’s World Cup NZL (1) v Nor (0) on TV — a first for me to watch sport
    • August 2023: a week long Samoa holiday with friends
    • snorkeled at Palolo Deep Marine Reserve in Samoa
    • called in at a wonderful cafe in Apia called Rivaiv — I had a fabulous teriyaki chicken bowl
    • October 2023: visited New Plymouth overnight with Deb for our 30th anniversary
    • 02 November 2023: arrived home from errands to find a HUGE controlled burn-off almost next door where the forestry block had been felled
    • received a very generous Amazon gift voucher from a friend
    • looked after Deb who had a medical emergency resulting in 7 days in hospital in Palmerston North. (She's fine now.)
    • December: heard from my cousin in England after a few years of no replies to my emails — I'd thought he must have died
    • tried cooking assorted new and some older recipes
    • tried assorted delicious green, white and yellow teas
    • wrote 914 posts on https://miraz.me
    • all year: loved participating in the Micro.Blog community, reading about other people's lives, looking at numerous gorgeous photos, exchanging comments, building friendships with people who live far away
    Small black dog sitting on my lap in the car.
    Sasha on her last day. Such a happy photo.

    I wonder what 2024 will bring?

  • Map shows Waikawa Beach has very few roads and is tiny.

    In my dream I was leaving a part of Waikawa Beach that had nightclubs, shops, restaurants, thinking: How weird I've lived here nearly 8 years and never found this area before.

    The map above clarifies how tiny Waikawa Beach is. It also has zero shops, cafes or other commerce. 🤣

  • Whew, I suppose it's only right that it takes me many hours over several days to write my monthly Waikawa Beach Newsletter. I guess the longer it takes, the easier it is for folks to read in just a few minutes. Maybe …

    NZ Scaup. Small dark water bird with beady yellow eye on a lake.
    NZ Scaup. Small dark water bird with beady yellow eye on a lake.
  • Folks interested in Waikawa Beach and its birds … take a look at this morning's Waikawa News blog post: Wrybills vs Dotterels. 🐦

    Wrybills and two kinds of Dotterels are tiny, cute, and starting to show up for the season.

    Small pale bird with a band of black feathers and a crooked beak.
    Small pale bird with a band of black feathers and a crooked beak.
  • This is a super busy week with a lot of things going on — new car will need a charger, bank stuff, insurance stuff. Meanwhile a gigantic local issue about how (and if) vehicles can access Waikawa Beach will be debated tomorrow and I'll do a wee speech at Council in the public participation session.

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