Wednesday Warbler

With the breeding season behind them now the birds are becoming more visible and their songs more audible. Yesterday I could hear the beautiful song of the Riroriro or Grey Warbler and as I sat looking at the Tall Trees section of the garden I could see a tiny bird flitting amongst the branches.

A closer look confirmed that it was the Grey Warbler, surrogate parent of the Shining Cuckoo ( in the photo below. Note the difference in size between the tiny warbler pictured further down the post and this Cuckoo.)
Grey Warblers only eat insects so it was hunting time for small insects to be found in the trees. I went out into the garden with the camera in the hope of getting a clearer photo than this attempt last year in March. DSCF4843


I was fortunate to find the little warbler on the aged kowhai tree on the reserve. The remarkable feature I saw and heard was this male bird singing its heart out, all while grazing for food. It is stunning to watch such a little beak cleverly move along leaves and branches while also creating beautiful music.

Male Grey Warbler or Riroriro Feb 26th 2014

Male Grey Warbler or Riroriro Feb 26th 2014

It was a but a brief moment or two before the wee bird flew across the road to a large bottle brush tree for more fine pickings and to serenade the neighbours.

Other posts about the Riroriro here


12 thoughts on “Wednesday Warbler

  1. Juliet

    I love the grey warblers, but they are so hard to spot, let alone photograph. You are doing so well with snapping the birds Lynley, and I love your description of the riroriro feeding and singing at the same time.

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      Thank you Juliet. The grey warblers are swift movers and usually stay well hidden in the canopy. This brave male was very hungry. I was staggered to observe him singing and feeding at the same time. I spotted another one in the tulip magnolia this morning but it was gone in a flash.

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      We do have a wonderful array of native birds. This tiny chap and his mate have flitted about the garden today but they are so, so fast! I’m glad you enjoy the birds.

  2. Gallivanta

    It seems so wonderful that a bird can sing and eat at the same time. Maybe we could too if we weren’t programmed by the “don’t talk with your mouth full’ instructions from our elders. And, it never ceases to amaze me that such a little bird cares, without complaint, for such a big baby!

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      His ability to sing and eat was impressive -only the males sing that wonderful “unfinished symphony” as Harvey McQueen described it.

      And having seen a Shining Cuckoo up close and now a Grey Warbler they are stalwart birds for sure! I have seen two Grey Warblers flitting about the garden today but oh so quickly:-)

      1. ordinarygood Post author

        Yesterday he and I think his mate was about somewhere seemed very determined to eat. It was more overcast and cooler yesterday so perhaps there was more insect life about.
        Today has been hot and sunny and they seemed to be flitting through the trees and gardens more. I need eyes in the back of my head to keep up with all these wonderful birds at the moment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s