Manawatu Estuary - foxton beach
Established as a Ramsar Site in 2005, this location is famous for hosting rare species throughout the year. On my first visit in the middle of winter I learnt that 29 godwits had stayed back and was able to see them from the viewing platform on Dawick Street. This platform could not be more perfectly placed. Overlooking the stunning wetlands and waterfront, the little ID guide at the front gets you excited trying to spot every bird on the list. Nearly 100 different species have been sighted here, and as someone who spends most of their time photographing birds in the forests, I was snapping away at every bird that moved, bathed or even just sat there napping. From spoonbills, to caspian terns I was spoilt for choice!
I was informed by a local who lived along the waterfront that the birds visiting also vary depending on the tide. Not even 5 minutes after finishing our chat, a spoonbill came right to the front of the platform and proceeded to walk along fishing for pipi's. He seemed very unfazed by my presence which was amazing and showed how people must respect the pathways and not disturb the wildlife.