I had seen reports of a bush-hen seen around 8 a.m. at Kalinga Park, Clayfield, on the Eremaea web site, and I arrived at 8:05 - late!! There were people everywhere including a group of Bush Care workers weeding and chainsawing on the very bank where the bird was reported to be. I was doomed!! Of all the times for "lovers of Kalinga Park" to turn up! What was the world coming to? Wait... was that one? A Dusky Moorhen materialised out of the long grass on the steep creek bank :-(
I walked up and down the creek for nearly an hour, taking lovely photos of a pair of Buff-banded Rail, a bird I would normally be delighted to see, but today just there to taunt me. Then suddenly and quietly, right below where a Bush Care person was working high on the bank, not one but two Pale-Vented Bush-Hens appeared out of long grass and began to walk in the open, along a shingle bank in the creek. I started taking photos not even checking my settings. The birds disappeared into long grass again after only 20 seconds. I noticed I hadn't breathed in a while and took a deep breath while I checked my camera. Eureeeka!! Reasonable settings and photos.
I looked around, resisting the urge to do a little victory dance - the children were still screaming in the playground, the bike riders were whizzing up and down the bike track on the creek bank and the Bush Care workers (bless them) were still weeding and chainsawing on the bank, all blithely unaware of my adrenalin rush moment. All was well with the world ...