After an evening of indulgence, we needed to take some exercise. So three of us headed to the beach, talking about the changing nature of the community, the replacement of small beach baches with large, expensive houses, the risks posed by climate change. The beach itself was calm, full of walkers, dog walkers, and even some horse riders. A baby seal concerned us, but the Conservation Department’s emergency line informed us that this was normal – apparently, parents often leave their baby seals on the land as they go fishing. We encountered oyster catchers, black swans, seagulls, ducks, geese, shags, and pukeko. Even some pukeko shagging! Spring was definitely in the air.