and cooing with father, to the baby chick, the downy fledging [fledgling], and the mottle-plumaged half-grown gannet. Beginning to arrive in August, by November the nesting grounds on the plateau overlooking the open sea is alive with them. Towards the end of March they have mostly flown, and until August comes round again the “Kidnappers” are deserted.
The sanctuary is under the control of an honorary board of trustees, and permission to visit it must be obtained from the ranger before the trip is undertaken.
If the return journey has been planned, as it should be, to catch the ebb tide in the afternoon, the walk along the hard sandy beach, with its distant views of mountain and plain, will be an added joy, and nothing will ever taste more refreshing than the cup of billy tea waiting for the tramper under the karaka trees of Clifton.
And so to the drive home – through such an air as poets dream, with the sun setting behind the far distant shining Ruahines, and evening shadows stealing over the plains, bringing to an end a perfect day, for the welcome guest of Hastings, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.
Photo caption –
Tuki Tuki Valley
P. VAN ASCH