Tag Archives: Eastern Rosella

A Sunday outing to Heretaunga Park

A break in the bleak, wet weather saw me head out to parts unknown. My destination was Heretaunga Park in Upper Hutt.
I was not disappointed in my time spent wandering in the fresh, cold air. The sun was out at times and the breeze only felt in more exposed spots.
Upstream I came upon these two who appeared to be sleeping in the middle of the water.

NZ Shovelers

NZ Shovelers

I suspect they could rest on the stony bed. The male was very protective of his female and kept his sharp eye on me at all times.
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These are New Zealand Shovelers (Kuruwhengi), endemic to my country. Their beaks are much wider and longer than their more common duck friends.

There were plenty of Mallard ducks and as I sat watching the water and the ducks this handsome fellow came very close to watch me.
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Another couple were shaking their tail feathers displaying such an array of patterns and colours on their feathers.
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This couple were snoozing on the very edge of the pool, perhaps cooling their heels?
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No sign of ducklings yet but winter has bitten hard since early July. However this willow was just putting out its fresh, new, fragile leaves.
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A very different bird call drew my attention and across the stream were these brightly coloured birds. The Eastern Rosellas that I have been searching for, for a long period of time. A small flock were in the trees and in a flurry of feathers two of this group flew down to the pool on the other side of the stream and proceeded to have very energetic baths.
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So much movement and droplets spraying and flapping.
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A Tui joined them here.
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In a whoosh they all left and I heard the call of a Paradise Shelduck away across the soccer field. The walk was well worth it as I came across this Magpie, who was on the move away from me to join another off in the distance.
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The male Shelduck was honking in his deep, monotonous way but no reply came while I was there.
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High above him in the bare, wintery trees were more Eastern Rosella (In NZ from cage-escaped birds. Also found in Eastern Australia).
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After taking some more photos I turned and my eye was caught by the heavy flight of a Kereru.
Here is this beauty having a nibble in a Kowhai tree which is almost flowering.
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And here is the Kereru showing off its brilliant whiter than white undergarments…..perhaps pantaloons or long legged bloomers!
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With the light beginning to dip and illuminating the flaxes I headed for the car and home.
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Although I did stop and take this photo to illustrate that early spring is beginning….
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When you wish upon a star

The lyrics of this well-known song date back to the 1940s for the film adaptation of “Pinocchio” and begin…….
”When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you”

By Ned Washington, Leigh Harline.

Here are the emerging, delicate white star flowers on the garlic chives. They look good enough to make a wish on.
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My wishes for more native birds appearing in my garden have continued to come true this week. Another slight thud on a window heralded the sight of another (or the same) Shining Cuckoo that I blogged about here.
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This time the wee bird was ready to fly away very quickly. These Cuckoos migrate in autumn to various Pacific Islands such as New Caledonia and the Solomon’s. The navigation skills they possess to achieve that journey are impressive. Their ability to avoid window panes in New Zealand is not so good.

Earlier today I heard a bird noise that sounded foreign to me. It was a high pitched squeaking sound that was rather persistent. Then late this afternoon the sound was much closer and I discovered a mature Tui and its very newly fledged youngster in the Tulip Magnolia near the sugar water feeder.

By the time I came outside with the camera the birds had flown. However the insistent squeaking noise was not far away and I found the fledgling again in the Mahoe tree in the tall tree area of our garden.

It is a splash of light near the throat of this young bird not its wattles.

It is a splash of light near the throat of this young bird not its wattles.

The parent bird flew off as I crept closer but my eye was caught by another fledgling bumbling about in the variegated Griselinia.
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It would seem that the adult birds have bought their twins to my garden to feast on the Mahoe berries and with the sugar feeder not far away. Or better still they have nested here and raised these young.
It is almost impossible to gain clear images as the wee birds wisely remain amongst the thick foliage up high in the trees. Neither of these fledglings have wattles and their yellow edged beaks were still visible to my eye as they moved about the branches. Their agility has yet to develop and some of their feathers had a downy look still. They are very newly out of the nest.
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And in further exciting bird news please link here to Toya’s blog where she has posted about her amazing successes at Zealandia over the past two days. Her photos of the Stitchbirds and today the Eastern Rosella feeding its four hungry babies are simply stunning and very informative and special.

Four and twenty blackbirds….?

Well maybe not that many blackbirds in your garden but those of you reading along in New Zealand may like to join in the annual bird count.

And those of you living in different countries may be interested in the information about this survey, as sent in the email to me.

The survey should be done sometime between 30 June and 8 July. Please record the largest number of each species you detect at any one time in 1 hour of observation (not the total detected over the hour). The reason for counting the largest number detected at one time is so that individual birds are not counted twice.

You can be either inside (e.g. in the living room at home or classroom at school looking out the window) or outside (e.g. on a verandah or garden seat). If you have a bird feeder or water bath, you may like to watch the part of your garden where that is. You don’t have to be able to see your whole garden, just part of your garden will do.

I like doing the survey and I always hope a rare and exotic bird will appear so I can include it in my tally. Last year the week after the survey I spotted two lovely Eastern Rosellas alight on my deck railing, call to each other, and then they were gone. Fingers crossed I’ll get an unusual visitor this year as I sit and bird watch.