Gannet love

I was sitting in the office last week, itching to get outdoors. It was a glorious spring day and I had something that I desperately wanted to do.

So grabbing my camera and the pooch, I closed the office door and headed off to the beach, Maori Bay actually, which is home to our West Coast gannet colony.


These amazing birds join us every year from August to March .. making Muriwai’s rugged and windswept coastline their hangout for annual get togethers and serious procreation activity.

So ambling up the short path to the look out platform and yes I loathe looking over, I lugged my camera and bits telling the pooch I’d be back soon – no dogs allowed.



gannet rock-1180536

gannet rock-1180563

For the next 10 minutes my vocabulary reduced to a singular word ‘wow’. I was in awe watching these magnificent birds as they glide past going about their day to day bird business.


On the way home, I stopped at Woodhill forest to let Dan have a run about and sniff heaven only knows what.



smiling lamb-1180623

I couldn’t resist taking this pic. Did you know that lambs smile?

And just because I can a few more shots of the beach …

muriwai beach-1180571

muriwai beach-1180579

muriwai beach swimming-1180577

… and my first ever moon pic, no tripod but thank heavens for the windowsill!



88 thoughts

  1. Wonderful photos! You are above the birds, that must have been a hike! They look like lovely animals. Very nice shot of the moon and the beach looks incredible! Could almost imagine catching those waves. Take care. Bob PS Nice to see less than three weeks between posts. ha ha 🙂

  2. In a full set of wonderful photographs I like so much the illuminated birds against the shadows, as a kind of inverse silhouettes. And the moon is a great achievement without tripod! Thank you!

  3. Beautiful set of photos. Wonderful bird shots, darling lamb, and nice beach photos. You even got some fence posts in. Nice first moon shot. You don’t need a tripod to photograph a full moon, as a proper expose for a full moon is around EV 15 (ƒ/8 at 1/500, for example), but as you are discovering, getting detail in the moon without totally black surroundings is a bit of a challenge.

    • Hey Tim … ha ha I did get in some fence shots. You know me! Glad you like the moon shot, I’m not sure if it is up to it. What’s EV 15 Tim? Bit stuck on that one. No idea I didn’t need a tripod. Just goes to show I don’t do it often. Probably ‘cos to date the pics I have taken are awful! LOL
      Thanks so much for your comment

  4. How wonderful to grab the dog and head for the beach! You have some lovely shots here but I especially admire the moon photo – the surrounding clouds, especially the crimson tinted one, add such great atmosphere.

    • I know, so lucky. And to think it is only 10 minutes down the road and I get to drive past smiling lambs on the way 😀 Oh I’m pleased you like the moon pic. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I viewed it through the finder. Got very excited LOL. Thanks for stopping by

  5. Wow is absolutely the most perfect word! What a lookout! What a view! I think I would have been there for hours and then someone would have come by to find me and remind me to go home and make supper. 😀 We have gannets in Canada, but only on the Atlantic coast, so completely on the other side of the country from me. Now I want to find a great big map of somewhere on the East coast and paint one!

    • Hello 🙂 I love the gannets too. They are so lovely gliding about and then landing amongst their noisy neighbours. I seldom see them feeding – I just had to ask hubby if he did. And yes he sure has. Glad you enjoyed the pics 😀

  6. Looks absolutely beautiful .thanks for the blogs. say hello to andrew ,we shared some great times in the maldives. went again this year .at the world titles run into some Kiwi’s (old friends) that knew you.
    continue the great work ! A. D.

  7. Hi to you both. I first saw the gannet colony when You andAndrew took Joyce and I to Muiaruia. About fifteen years ago you didn’t live there then. And I nearly always go to see them or take someone every year I return. I mostly see them from the road above. Photos as usual very good and varied from Birds Beach and Country keep up the good work. Well we are coming into winter now can’t wait to get back into your summer!
    LOL Bill xxx.

  8. Beach envy? Ha! Your beach is magnificent. Even though ours is all pebbly and usually cold, I can’t keep away so with all that on my doorstep, I’d probably end up divorced. What a wonderful set of carefree photos. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I am speechless, if one can be that when typing. What a day you have captured here an shared with us. You have taken me soaring with those garnets, to unimaginable heights and wild places then brought me back down to earth with some rust wire and a smiling lamb. Thankyou Miss.

    • Hello gorgeous girl .. ha ha you’re funny. It was a special Day F … nothing like some soaring jewels in the sky. And how I loved the rusty wire, wood posts and my smiling lamb. You are so welcome.

  10. Not a bad day at the office, Julie! WOW! I couldn’t begin to try to pick a favourite from amount these photos (love the little lambs, though). Aside from the extraordinary photos, it must have been quite an experience infiltrating the gannet colony.

  11. That second photograph, the one of the gannet caught in mid-air with the tip of its bill almost touching the line of the ocean, is excellent. I wish I’d gotten one that good when I was at Muriwai in February.

  12. What a fun and beautiful post, Julie! How lucky you are to live by a vast body of water and mountains! Wow! You are living MY life. You must be another me. LOL The one pic of the bird and cliffs had my stomach rolling …. oh man o’live! My mouth went dry as well. Those birds are absolutely breathtaking so I can see why you would want to photograph them. I was wowing right along with you!! As for the rest of your images, LOVED every single one of them. Your Light and beauty come so clearly across in your images. Your Heart is displayed for all who come here to see. And it is truly Divinely Sparkly Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your part of the world!!! Love, Amy <3

    • Hello lovely Amy … thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the post. We are so very lucky … I’m blessed. Funny I’m scared of heights but I can take pics of these birds without feeling shaky. Mind you, I’m not standing next to the edge! LOL. What a lovely comment Amy. Very special to me indeed. Come again soon. Hugs

  13. Hellooo 😃
    I would’ve been saying wow too Jules. Such an elegant bird with beautiful markings!
    Love that gorgeous little smiling lamb. Awww!
    Love the fences too and the beach shots. What a glorious place.
    Really enjoying your shots and the wonderful variety!

  14. I, too, am reduced to ‘wow’. All of your photos are beautiful as ever, but that second photo with the gannet in flight silhouetted by the boulder is spectacularly stunning.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: