Eastern Curlew on the Whanganui

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During summer I regularly check the waders on the Whanganui River Estuary, and yesterday I got the surprise of my life, a lone Eastern Curlew feeding on the river edge. It was eating crab after crab, and allowed my reasonably close approach, so a great range of pictures were obtained. This is the first time I have seen one at this location, and only the third I have seen in NZ. They are the largest wader in NZ and have an enormous bill, yet he was probing the mud right up to his face. What a great start to the new year.