The colours of spring

I saw the challenge to photograph the colours of spring on another blog yesterday.

So what are some of the colours of spring in my garden I wondered?

Here are a few as we enjoy a series of warmer, drier and sunnier days which are heralding the change to a new season.

The sweet delicacy of Camellia Quintessence

The sweet delicacy of Camellia Quintessence


Spraxia

Spraxia


Lobelia amongst the weeds in their spring green lushness

Lobelia amongst the weeds in their spring green lushness


The very new leaves of the white carpet rose.

The very new leaves of the white carpet rose.


White "mouse ears" or forget-me-not"

White “mouse ears” or forget-me-not”


One of the last Daffodils

One of the last Daffodils


Green minty freshness

Green minty freshness

Swan Lake

As we ambled about our local man-made lake this afternoon the Black Swans were very busy attending to their personal hygiene and frilly white linen.

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This “knot” is a preening Black Swan.

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And this Swan was vigorously working water through all of its feathers.  It put on a wonderful water ballet performance for us.

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A Sunday outing to Heretaunga Park

A break in the bleak, wet weather saw me head out to parts unknown. My destination was Heretaunga Park in Upper Hutt.
I was not disappointed in my time spent wandering in the fresh, cold air. The sun was out at times and the breeze only felt in more exposed spots.
Upstream I came upon these two who appeared to be sleeping in the middle of the water.

NZ Shovelers

NZ Shovelers

I suspect they could rest on the stony bed. The male was very protective of his female and kept his sharp eye on me at all times.
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These are New Zealand Shovelers (Kuruwhengi), endemic to my country. Their beaks are much wider and longer than their more common duck friends.

There were plenty of Mallard ducks and as I sat watching the water and the ducks this handsome fellow came very close to watch me.
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Another couple were shaking their tail feathers displaying such an array of patterns and colours on their feathers.
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This couple were snoozing on the very edge of the pool, perhaps cooling their heels?
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No sign of ducklings yet but winter has bitten hard since early July. However this willow was just putting out its fresh, new, fragile leaves.
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A very different bird call drew my attention and across the stream were these brightly coloured birds. The Eastern Rosellas that I have been searching for, for a long period of time. A small flock were in the trees and in a flurry of feathers two of this group flew down to the pool on the other side of the stream and proceeded to have very energetic baths.
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So much movement and droplets spraying and flapping.
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A Tui joined them here.
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In a whoosh they all left and I heard the call of a Paradise Shelduck away across the soccer field. The walk was well worth it as I came across this Magpie, who was on the move away from me to join another off in the distance.
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The male Shelduck was honking in his deep, monotonous way but no reply came while I was there.
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High above him in the bare, wintery trees were more Eastern Rosella (In NZ from cage-escaped birds. Also found in Eastern Australia).
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After taking some more photos I turned and my eye was caught by the heavy flight of a Kereru.
Here is this beauty having a nibble in a Kowhai tree which is almost flowering.
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And here is the Kereru showing off its brilliant whiter than white undergarments…..perhaps pantaloons or long legged bloomers!
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With the light beginning to dip and illuminating the flaxes I headed for the car and home.
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Although I did stop and take this photo to illustrate that early spring is beginning….
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A table for two?

The large Kowhai trees across the road have begun flowering this week and the numbers of Tui circulating in the area has risen dramatically. The air is full of the sound of their calls and their wing beats.

Word has spread amongst the birds about the sugar water feeder in my garden. So food is available across the road in the Kowhais, the Banksia and the Protea and drinks are on tap here.
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Yesterday in the better weather there were a lot of Tui visiting the feeder at lunch time. These two were not initially happy with seating arrangements.

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But after some flapping and shuffling about peace was agreed upon and drinks were shared.DSCF0556

Later in the afternoon there was significant fence hopping between the larger male and the smaller female. The various songs, calls and squawks alert me to this dance and I recognise these behaviours from earlier in the year. It was not long after the fence dance then that I found the fledglings in the tall trees in the garden.
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Spring and new babies are not far away for the Tui.