Oh yes – a post about – you guessed it – wildlife:-)
I am very lucky – I live in a town where we have birds galore, not only the noisy and territorial imports – the Mynah and Pukeko but also New Zealand Natives such as the endangered Kiwi and Weka – as well as a good number of my favorite the Tui and Silver Eye, Kingfisher/kōtare, Morepork/ruru, New Zealand pigeon/ kererū/kūkū/kūkupa and lately New Zealand dotterel/tūturiwhatu of which only about 500 are left.
A while a go someone complained in our National Newspaper that he can’t get any sleep because the noise Tui keep him awake in Auckland and that the council should do something about it – like cutting down the trees where they either feed from or sit in – sorry but “What the ….?” . Instead of being happy that in our largest city one can hear these amazing birds – they want to get rid of them? And instead listen to what? Noisy car’s or trains? Unbelievable…
I am guessing that person will not like our town – or indeed our most southern Island Stewart Island as it is in these places that birds roam like they used to before the introduction of foreign pests such as stoats, rats and possums (among others). I wish we where as lucky up here and also had Kākā and Kea but they are Southern Birds.
So every day starts by hearing the last Morepork cry before sunrise and by then the Tui have taken over that role and the Mynah’s are already hopping along the roof and make a racket. When I go for my morning walk I come across the Kingfisher sitting on the power lines and calling out as well as the Kukupa going for a first meal in the wild fig tree. Weka take their young for a morning walk and every now and then when I am lucky I see a lone Dotterel on the beach – foraging for food.
The Weka in particular kept us entertained for a few weeks whilst they where raising their young – coming past our house on a daily basis with two or three babies in tow. At this time of year the tui feast on the flowers of the Harakeke and any other flowering native tree and for a few days I have had young blackbirds bumping into our big windows – clearly having not learnt yet how to avoid them…
New Zealand is famous for its birds, there are so many daily experiences with them that I can’t tell them all here.
A morepork (or sometimes two) sit at our friends house every evening – attracted by the insects that congregate around their outside lights – I am yet to take a photo of it..
I am yet to see a kiwi but I have heard them – and other friends have nesting boxes in their backyard and have had camera’s installed in them and it seems they are quite happy to live within our town limits – imagine – we are so lucky here.
The more worry it is when one finds a large (and dead) rat just outside the house on the road – if they are That big – an egg of a ground nesting bird such as the kiwi or the dotterel is like a snack to them..
On the other part of this post – the bees… well.. at this time of year they tend to swarm – and unfortunately one of those queens thought it is a good idea to try and build a new home inside my flue and fireplace… NOT good at all! Lucky I noticed them inside the firebox before opening that one or I would have had a whole swarm inside my lounge..
So I called a few beekeepers and the best advise (apart from wait till winter..) was to make it as uncomfortable as possible for them by banging on the flue – the vibration and also the dust helps to make the new home not that welcoming and they left – luckily…
On both those topics – I am still working on my photography – learning new tricks every day and whilst I have no intention of becoming a birdwatcher or bird photographer ( I simply do not have the patience to sit in one place for hours – or spend the money on a big a.. lens) – I did manage to get a few shots that even have both of today’s subjects in it..