Dainty dessert?

The air is full of Tuis here at the moment.

Tui on flax

Tui on flax

They are thronging to the neighbour’s kowhai trees which are dripping with flowers full of nectar.
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Tui feeding upside down in a kowhai tree

Tui feeding upside down in a kowhai tree


As I posted here they are enjoying a bath in our spouting before or after feasting on the kowhai nectar.

They like to preen and dry their feathers in the Griselinia trees in our garden before flying away.

Griselinia littoralis "variegata"

Griselinia littoralis “variegata”

However this week I have noticed a lot of activity within the trees with Tuis hopping about the branches and appearing to nibble at some part of the tree.
Here is what they are enjoying.
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Griselinia flowers

Griselinia flowers


These are the flowers of the Griselinia and are another favourite food for Tuis. I’m guessing these dainty delicacies are dessert after the main course of kowhai nectar. The tree is covered in these tiny flowers.

As my blogger friend Gallivanta commented on Monday’s post we really are offering a bird resort here in the garden. There’s pleasant satisfaction in that.

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30 thoughts on “Dainty dessert?

  1. Gallivanta

    For a moment I wondered if the flowers had a fragrance and the birds were ‘dusting’ themselves with it during their preening! It does seem more likely that the flowers are a type of after dinner mint for the Tuis. Thanks for the mention 🙂

    Reply
  2. Pingback: If you don’t eat your greens, you can’t have any pudding | ordinarygoodness

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      I think Ruth, from Ruth’s Reflections, had mentioned to me in a comment on my blog, that Christchurch had Keruru but not many Tui. I hope they populate your town soon. I have listened all day to contented Tui gurglings from the nearby Kowhai trees:-)

      Reply
      1. ordinarygood Post author

        They are a delight to have. I have my ears up listening for the first Shining Cuckoo. Someone is wanting data on these tricksters…must find the link again. The forecast howling gales might stop me hearing much today:-(

      1. ordinarygood Post author

        That is sad. I wonder if it is too hot in Christchurch for them to thrive. They like to grow where their roots can access water and of course they grow naturally amidst other native trees to nurture them. We ask a lot of them in our suburban gardens.

      2. Gallivanta

        I think I didn’t put it in the right spot. And I think you are right that it would have done better in the company of other native trees. At the time it was surrounded by camelias.

      3. ordinarygood Post author

        Hmmm we have several kowhais of varying size/genus? which have either been planted or self sown which reside happily with camellias and other acid loving plants.
        Losing a tree/plant can simply be part of the mystery of gardening.
        Tuis love flax flowers if that is of any help?

      4. Gallivanta

        Sadly, I don’t think I have room for a flax plant. I have to get to the garden centre soon, so perhaps they will have some suggestions re something that would be the right size for my garden.

      5. ordinarygood Post author

        How could I forget the Bottlebrush shrubs- the Tuis and Wax eyes adore the flowers. Perhaps that might work in your garden? Banksias are another option.

  3. Pingback: Tui Tucker | ordinarygoodness

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