Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Tuesday 10th.November 2009

Today was spent hedgelaying up on the Greensand Ridge , in thick mist to begin with , varying drizzle for most of the day , and heavier rain as daylight was starting to fade . All in all a miserable day , but the hedge needs to be layed , so we got on with it and just got wetter and wetter as the day went by . The only wildlife I came across , was my first hearing of Fieldfares , as they flew over and settled in a wooded area , and a couple of mushroom species , that I have already posted this Autumn .
As there was nothing else to post , I'm posting a few more of the bird species recorded on our visit to New Zealand . The first , a native bird , and I must admit a favourite of mine , the Tui . They were seen most days in and around the garden , but always very secretive . I loved the way when they flew in , always to a well leaved tree , the bird would announce it's arrival with a very melodious series of notes . I photographed the bird in the picture when we went to the beach with the grandchildren to fly a kite . This male treated the tree and flowers as 'his' property , and chased off any other arrivals . The white on its neck is a very unusual sack type growth that I think only the male has .
Around most areas of fresh water we visited , to feed the ducks or whatever , we usually found Pukekos or Purple Swamp Hens , looking like an overgrown Moorhen , but always moving off if we got too close . The grandchildren had story books featuring these birds .
Also around water , fresh or salt , you had only to open the car door and you would be surrounded by noisy Red Billed Gulls . I would say they are NZ equivilent of our Black Headed Gulls , but brighter .
Whilst working in the garden , I often heard the bubbly call of another of my favourites , the Fantail . One day there were three males persuing a single female , each of the males spreading it's wings and tail to attract her . This one flattened itself to the tree and allowed a shot .
Yet another introduced species recorded in the garden and often along the roadsides , was the Californian Quail . This one is a male with a large projection from the top of the head , the females seemed to have a smaller projection .
And finally , pictured on the garden fence , and often seen on the quieter lawn next door , the White Faced Heron . We also saw Grey Heron , but this species is less numerous . Like the Kingfishers and many other species , worms from the lawn was what it was after .
More from NZ on another quiet day .


Wilma said...

Love your NZ bird series, Greenie. Coincidence that you posted the quail photo -- I just posted a couple of photos of the Gambel's quail, as it is called in my guide book, in my most recent post about a trip to the Arizona desert. i think they look like they are playing dress-up with funny hats. ;-)


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
More lovely photo's from N.Z. I like the shot of the Californian Quail, not a bad looking chap.

Warren Baker said...

Save some of those Kiwi photo's for friday Greenie, it looks like a wet and windy one!

ShySongbird said...

Very interesting post again Greenie. Yes, the Pukeko looks just like an overgrown Moorhen, just what I thought. One of my blog pals lives in NZ and rescues and treats injured birds and she has a Pukeko which can't be reintroduced to the wild so has become something of a pet, it regularly rewards her by digging up her best plants!

I have just looked up the Tui and they are fascinating birds, an alternative name is Parson Bird, they mimic human speech and possess two voice boxes! As you said they can be very agressive.

Great stuff!