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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Beautiful colours….you really have some wonderful birds 🙂
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.
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!
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:-)
Do you think there are times of the day when they are less active and therefore easier to photograph?
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!
And ours seem to have disappeared. I guess they will return when it starts to get colder and there is less food elsewhere.
Lovely pics, Lyn! He has such a sweet face.
He is a cutie and such a trojan to help raise the much larger Shining Cuckoo…..lovely moon and Venus photo you have posted.
Thank you! 🙂 It was such a beautiful sight to wake up to this morning.