My camera has been quietly resting for the last few weeks but I have been out and about on a few days in March this year.
Here are my favourite photographs from March. I really like the contrasts between the brown bleached hills and the lush greens seen in the trees and leaves of other photos. Nature showing so much of its best around or near my home.
The big dry on the Belmont Hills
Early morning at home
Silhouette of a Fantail. A fleeting moment of stillness.
Kereru feasting on Karamu berries ( I think)
The stunning work of a small spider.
This ball of feathers is a fantail preening – so little stillness with these delightful birds
I am persisting in my attempts to achieve a great shot of the fantails (Piwakawaka) who are constantly visiting the garden at the moment. They are playful, cheeky, wee birds who can fly temptingly close to humans at times. They are not still for more than a second or two and all the while they chirrup and tweet in a very happy manner. As insect eaters they dive in and out amongst the leaves on trees to find food which also means a clear view is almost impossible. But I am not deterred and it is a joy to watch them flit about.
Here are some of my recent attempts…..
Found me in the maple tree!
Now I’m on the creeper on the trellis…can you see me?
My luck was in today later in the afternoon. I had had my camera “at the ready” in attempt to capture a photo of our friendly fantail. He, however, had different ideas and flirted with me as he flitted and darted amongst the leaves of the Golden Elm tree. But he disappeared chirruping cheekily across to another garden and away.
My attention was caught a few minutes later when the delightfully melodious song of the Grey Warbler or Riroriro filled the garden close by me. Out on the climbing rose were a pair of these tiny native birds. I have heard them increasingly in the garden in the past two years which has been exciting.
At around 11cm in length, greyish coloured and able to dart and flick away rapidly in flight, they are really tricky to spot and even harder to take a photo of.
I crept out onto the deck with the camera already set to maximum zoom and watched with disappointment as the pair flew into the leafy Smoke Bush. I stood as still as I could and suddenly this little bird popped out onto a barer branch.
Do go to this link for more detail about this marvellous wee bird and click on the sound recording of its impressive song. Impressive in its utter beauty but also in the large sound such a tiny bird produces.
I posted here about the Shining Cuckoo which infiltrates the nest of a Grey Warbler and is raised by these diminutive birds often after kicking the young warblers out of their nest. Another post here about the Shining Cuckoo.
I hope to be posting a photo of the fantail any day soon but for today I am content.
The past week has had some dispiriting aspects to it but the cheering news from me is about the native birds.
Each morning this week, Korimako (such a beautiful name) the native Bellbird has been in and around my garden with its glorious clear, sweet bell-like song. A neighbour has a large Bottle brush tree which is currently covered in red flowers containing nectar. Bellbirds are like Tuis and love nectar. Their beak is shaped to drink the nectar from the neck of the flowers. So the Bellbird has discovered an abundant site to enjoy breakfast and thrill me with its song.
Also during the week I have heard the Grey Warblers again. They have been quiet of late, presumably raising their young or those of the Shining Cuckoo. Last night I spotted a pair of Fantail flitting chirpily around the garden. Their return indicates that autumn is here and they will be around until spring when they move elsewhere.
I’ve heard Tui song from time to time but I am expecting them back in numbers soon if my blog records continue to predict this event.
When I was growing up the sight and sounds of our native birds was generally something reserved for museums and exhibitions where we could view stuffed birds and listen to audio of their song.
To hear and see an increasing range of native birds in my garden is such a joy and so uplifting in the face of indifferent news.
And the final part of last night’s sunset is worth sharing too:-)