An underwater garden

The tide was out about halfway on the coast by Lyall Bay and there was a colourful display of exposed seaweeds - particularly the green of "sea lettuce" which, as the name suggests, has a very fresh and vibrant colour. 

There was a lot to see - the lumpy rocks, the beach in the distance with the buildings of the two surf lifesaving clubs that are based at Lyall Bay, and lo and behold - an oystercatcher. 

First I saw an all black variable oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor) foraging amidst the seaweeds...  and then I saw another variable oystercatcher of the "mottled variant" type - it has white speckling as well as glossy black feathers (despite the "unicolor" in its proper name.)  Oystercatchers are very engaging to me with their busy purposeful manner and their rather spectacular long orange beaks and orange rimmed beady eyes.  

But when I got closer my attention was taken by this dense grouping of brown seaweeds - so many different shades and patterns, together a busy rich tapestry just under the shallow water, hinting at the wonderful sights to be seen in this underwater garden that is the ocean.