Daily Archives: July 24, 2013

The sweet song of the Thrush

In my post yesterday I mentioned that as a delightful counterpoint to listening for rumbling earth tremors, and creaking and groaning house timbers or ominous rattling, I had discovered the bird song in the garden to be that of a Thrush or Song Thrush as they can be known.

I have been on to this simply outstanding website and gathered up some bits of information about our very tuneful friend. He has the capacity to sing without pause for several hours I am discovering this morning.
The Thrush is an introduced bird to New Zealand and is found through-out the country. It is a pretty bird with speckles on a proud cream breast. They love to sing from a high branch or on a tree top, although they are often seen on the ground foraging for food.
Here is “my” one- high up on the flowering cherry tree
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And then, when not enjoying my proximity, he flew to a neighbour’s Silver Birch tree….can you spot him as a distant blur in the centre of the photo?
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These seem to be his current favourite vantage points from which to tell all that this is his territory. Information indicates that at this time of the year as breeding is about to get under way (August through to February) the male thrush sings to inform of his territorial ownership.

The song is distinctive and attractive with many notes repeated several times before another phrase is sung and repeated. NZ Birds online website here has several recordings worth listening to. I was amazed to find that the first two were from 1845 and the early 1900’s in Christchurch and are part of the Natural History Unit Sound Archive.www.archivebirdsnz.com

In spring and summer I am often alerted to a Thrush on the ground by the sound of loud cracking on the concrete path. Thrushes love snails (and slugs) and will work very hard to crack open the shell so they can eat the contents….

So now I need to look for the chorister’s mate and check the trees in our Tall Tree area of the garden to see if I can spot a nest being built in days to come. I think I found a Thrushes’ nest down in that spot last autumn.

Every so often we find a blue-green egg with speckles on it, cracked and empty after a Thrush fledgling has hatched and the egg remains have been tossed out on to the ground.

Do go and visit the website to enjoy the clear and informative photos, sound recordings and data there.

And I will continue to listen to the performance that has been going on for 5 hours now bar a short intermission when the Thrush hopped past my glass sliding door and I swear he winked at me

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“With Bold Needle and Thread” by Rosemary McLeod

Koru knits and crafts

“With Bold needle and thread” by Rosemary McLeod.

I loved this large, beautiful book that I recently borrowed from the library.
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I will borrow it again so I can once again enjoy the gorgeous visual presentation but also the immense amount of information, history, and projects to dream about.
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While it is a book about stitching and creating clothes and useful household objects it is also a book about social history/herstory in New Zealand.
Rosemary McLeod is a collector of textiles and fabrics as well as owning a vast library of patterns, designs, and magazines relating to handcrafts of every kind. She also likes creating things from fabric and textiles without using a pattern.
There are plenty of projects and instructions to follow in this substantial book (495pp) dating back from the 1920’s to more recent times. Bags, aprons (I remember my Gran having an apron made from sacking but…

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