This year, 2019, has been the best year for birding on the Whanganui River Estuary in many, and this week two more good bird species showed up, a Whimbrel, and two Pacific Golden Plover, not uncommon birds in NZ, but rare for Whanganui. Of all birds I've photographed I think the Whimbrel is the most difficult to approach, this one is off even when I am a hundred metres away. This afternoon, in pouring rain, I crawled through long grass to the river's edge only to see it take flight and sound out its call as I raised my head into view. Nice to hear though, its seven-note whistle, one of the most distinct among shorebirds. Also a group of Variable Oystercatchers has been present, a lovely NZ endemic, that are not overly common.