Monthly Archives: September 2014

The froth and fizz of spring

Our neighbour has a flowering cherry tree alongside the footpath. It has looked a picture for a few days now and with inclement weather upon us I was determined to get out and see what I could record with my camera before the elements bruised and battered the beauty too much.
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The tree is simply a mass of flowers and the scent strong and sweet. A Tui was enjoying the nectar but gave me a merry chase and managed to stay mostly out of sight.
The Tui appears as a black object in the centre of this image.
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The wind was blowing about and the light glarey but sometimes that can work.
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It has been an excellent day for blogging, not so good for enjoying photography.

Macro Tui food

Two weeks ago I headed out in our back garden with the camera on Macro setting to record the intricate beauty of Kowhai tree flowers. I love the intense golden colour of these flowers which provide so much nourishment to the Tui from the nectar within each flower.

Kowhai tree flowers

Kowhai tree flowers


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Tui have an articulated tongue that has a fibrous brush like tip that allows them to harvest the nectar from these tubular flowers.
The final photograph shows some of the damage that results from vigorous drinking by the Tui.
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In an interesting side note. Kereru (Native Wood Pigeon) eat these flowers rather than sup the nectar.

Yesterday before the rain

The weather forecast mentioned increasing cloud and rain. That all seemed to come in a little earlier than forecast so with the clouds thickening as a warning we headed out for a short stroll at Aotea Lagoon. Our timing was perfect and we enjoyed the sheltered area near the small duck pond and rose garden.
No spring baby water fowl were in evidence and the stunning flowering cherry tree was still to burst forth but there were some other lovely colours to soak up and record with the camera.
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Kowhai trees in full flower at Aotea Lagoon, Porirua

Kowhai trees in full flower at Aotea Lagoon, Porirua


Iceland Poppies

Iceland Poppies


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This Wisteria will be a mass of flower and fragrance in the next week. I suspect the colour of the flowers will deepen as more emerge.
Wisteria at Aotea Lagoon, Porirua

Wisteria at Aotea Lagoon, Porirua

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Today is wet, windy and cold again. Truly spring in Wellington.

Waxeyes on Sunday

And here the photos I took on a lovely sunny day as the Waxeyes (Maori name: Tauhou) worked their way amongst the brushes on the Bottle Brush bush, supping on nectar.

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They are skittish, tiny birds but very pretty and very welcome in the garden. Thank goodness for the kitchen window!

Sparrows on Sunday

The Bottle Brush bushes have a good covering of “brushes” right now. These bushes are located very close to our house which means the birds fly away swiftly at any approach.

Hmmm I thought why not try a photo or two through the not too clean kitchen window that overlooks this spot?
And here we are.
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A female sparrow keeping a close eye on me as I kept a close eye on her!

Spotty window, breeze, bush movement from other feeders and her own subtle movements to maintain balance have not prevented a couple of satisfying images.
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It is easy to work at the bench right now with so many birds feeding here at the moment.

I have some waxeye photos taken in the same manner to post about too.

Starlings

For a long time now I have wanted to record some photos of Starlings. I see them in and around my garden all the time and hear their raucous but also tuneful songs amidst all the other birds who frequent our neighbourhood.

I often watch them from the kitchen window as they bob along in an almost military strut pecking for tasty morsels in our grass.   There are times when their feathers look unkempt and others when they appear to use a lot of grooming “product”.   But they also have beautiful iridescent colours and delightful white speckles as part of their plumage.

I had tossed out some food scraps earlier in the week and these had drawn the sparrows, the occasional finches and some starlings. Later in the afternoon several starlings had arranged themselves on our boundary fence and my luck was in.

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One of my real enjoyments as the day begins to draw to its end, is to watch the flocks of starlings flying at speed to their nightly roosting places. It is quite magnificent and if I am outside the sudden sound of the whirr of their collective wings is dramatic but fleeting.   A photograph of this has eluded me to date. But I like a challenge.