Hawke's Bay Today readers have been stumped by a local photographer's snap of a bird, and the weird optical illusion the camera created.

The picture in Monday's paper caused confusion among readers, some of whom were convinced that the picture had been printed upside down.

Photographer Bill Trewheeler said the picture was 100 per cent untouched.

"There is no kind of Photoshop or hanky panky of any kind been done to the picture; it's just from the magic of the camera," he said.

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Trewheeller said he was also surprised by how it looked when he had taken the photo down by Ahuriri Estuary on Saturday evening.

"What really surprised me was how clear the reflection was compared to the bird itself which was just pure white.

"I didn't even mean to get it to look like that I just saw a great picture to get but then after I took it I was shocked by how it turned out."

But he doesn't blame people for second-guessing which way the picture goes.

"I can understand how people can be stumped by it and think it's the wrong way round, I saw it in the paper and it looked even stranger in print."