The winter light was perfect today for showing off the stunning colours of the Tui. This image is a rough one but the iridescent blues being highlighted make it worth posting. This bird had just swept through moving another Tui and several Sparrows away from the sugar-water feeders. His flight-path saw him perch briefly here in the Wonga Wonga vine. Tui look black from a distance but any dark feathers are brown.
On my recent visit to Plimmerton beach I watched a pair of White faced Herons glide in on the gentlest curve to land on the rocks. The tide was lowering so there were plenty of rock pools for them to forage in.
The smaller of the two was very close to where I was seated and so I was able to observe and photograph it as it fished for small and often silvery food items.
It was amazing to watch the bird shift its weight almost imperceptibly on to its left leg while the right leg very gently and quickly stirred the water. It was not a vigorous movement but it netted a morsel into that darting beak every time.
We live in an area close to the Pauatahanui Inlet so we see these lovely Herons on the shore very frequently. It was very special to be so close to them on this visit.
I have been fortunate in the past three or more years to hear the beautiful song of the Korimako, New Zealand Bellbird. Eventually I spotted one in the garden but it was a fleeting view as this fast moving bird was there and gone.
Two very tall Bottle Brush trees in neighbouring gardens provide food for our nectar feeding birds, especially the Tui and Bellbird.
My attempts to photograph a Bellbird have been futile so far. But today our lovely visiting Bellbird ( or perhaps more than one) has been in and around the garden and singing temptingly close by.
With cold winter light offering little assistance I ventured out with my camera to try and locate Korimako feeding in the tree across the road. The zoom on my camera is very good and I was able to gain one photo.
I crossed the road carefully and stood a way off from the tree believing that the bird would be fearful and take flight. However food was a stronger pull and with plenty of foliage to hide safely in I was able to move closer and closer without causing the bird to fly away.
My luck held and I came home with some pleasing photographs and the great sense of achievement gained from ticking a “wanted bird” off the list.
I have included a link to a sound clip of the clear, bell like song of this very special New Zealand native bird.
My friendly and brave Tui who featured in my blog post yesterday was also happy to show me various other poses. I suspect the Tui was really on watch for intruders approaching the feeders but also for the small flying insects that they catch as part of their varied diet.
The sugar water feeders were empty today and my friend here sat on the fence to alert me to his or her hunger. My reward for coming out with new supplies was this Tui stayed still and allowed me to sneak very close to take some photos.
A warm day meant the sliding door was open. Near this door is our dining table. Just outside this door is a collection of potted plants and a plastic bowl full of water for the birds to drink from.
This blackbird is often in this area of the garden and as I was eating my lunch, he appeared to drink from the bowl. Fortunately I had my camera right next to me.
Tui are not known for being sweet “smiling”, benign birds. Rather they are well known for their aggression and territory dominance. Their beauty in colour, feathering and song draws many of us in to love them and be fascinated by them. Enjoy this grumpy bird image!