Tag Archives: Keruru

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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Stunning photos on Sunday

The little point and shoot camera has minimal zoom capacity but very little was needed today as first this Kea and then this Keruru obliged by coming very close to me. An absolute thrill to experience on a hot summer’s day.

Kea or NZ Native Parrot at Nga Manu sanctuary, Waikane

Kea or NZ Native Parrot at Nga Manu sanctuary, Waikane

Keruru of NZ Wood Pigeon at Nga Manu Sanctuary, Waikane

Keruru or NZ Wood Pigeon at Nga Manu Sanctuary, Waikane

Of Cabbages……?

No, not a post about Cabbages, nor a post about what the Walrus said “of cabbages and kings”, but a post about our Cabbage Trees. Ti Kouka in Maori, Cordyline Australis in Latin, a tree so common in New Zealand that it is easily taken for granted and overlooked.

We have at least two of these trees in our garden now and as I have sat sniffling and snuffling over the past four days I have noticed flower heads emerging from our trees.

I learnt from Ruth here that Cabbage Tree flowers have a beautiful scent and on that calm afternoon on Thursday I could just smell a delicate perfume when I was out near the larger of the two trees.
Keruru, New Zealand’s native wood pigeon love the flowers and seeds of these trees so I am pleased to extend our bird resort facilities further with the sight of an abundant flowering about to happen.

I was further surprised to peer over the supermarket car park wall and spot this stunning sight. It is rare to look down into the head of a cabbage tree as they stand very tall, very quickly but here was a gem to cheer me on.
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There is quite a line-up of cabbage trees below this wall and they offered me various photos of flower heads emerging and flowers blooming.
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Unfortunately any scent was being blown away in the spring winds. Like many of our native trees this flowering season is looking to be a boomer.

A walk in the Tree tops

One of the special features at Otari Open air plant Museum is the Tree top walk.
This wooden walkway begins here with a Waharoa or gateway into a spiritual realm.
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Ahead are tall trees.
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The walkway bridges the Open air Museum to the Information Centre and spans a deep, deep gully.
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For those who dare to look over the sturdy rail there are fascinating views to be had.
Look at the wonderful star shape that forms in the crown of a large tree fern.
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While the walkway is in the canopy of tall New Zealand Native trees there are plenty which reach higher than the walkway.
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This is where we spotted one Keruru.
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Every so often there are views out over the greater Otari Bush reserve showing viewers this very rugged countryside that is so typical of the hills of Wellington.
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And the density of the native bush when it is left to its own devices.
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Some very old and beautiful specimen are within reach.
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And at the end of the walkway there is another Keruru perched very high up on what appears to be a twig.
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While we had something of a bird’s eye view on the walkway we were really being viewed all the while by the birds.

I counted 6!

With the help of my sharp-eyed companions I spotted 6 Keruru at the Otari Bush Reserve yesterday.

The Karaka and Tawa tree berries are abundant at the moment so the birds have plenty to feast on.
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Two of the birds were perching in trees that allowed some reasonable close-up photos to be taken.

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I have added the count of 6 to the Counting Keruru website. The survey closes today. The results will be most interesting. It is exciting to be witnessing the resurgence of these beautiful native birds.

A good day for a jaunt

Yesterday was the sort of day to go for a jaunt.  It was sunny and warm, the sky was blue with only fluffy white clouds and the wind frisky but not as stormy as previous days.

 With holidays about to end we set off across the hills and onto the Western Hutt motorway, across the first bridge over the Hutt River and on to a specialist shop I needed to visit.

 My shopping was successful and off we went again down through the suburbs, out through an industrial area and then alongside the Wellington Harbour on its eastern side.

 We followed the road as far as it goes out to Eastbourne and enjoyed the contrast between sea on one side and steep bush covered hills on the other.  The Bougainvillea’s were strident in their pinks and reds in people’s gardens

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and every so often I think I spied a Northern Rata flowering. ( The Rata is in the same family as the Pohutukawa)

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A short distance back along the road we came back to Williams Park in Days Bay.  I visited this beach and park many, many times as a child.  

ImageWe wandered in the park, taking a path behind the duck pond that has been there ever since I can remember

Imageand then stopped for some lunch at the Pavilion café in the park.

 After lunch we strolled across the road and out along the wharf where the East West Ferry berths and where young people still like to leap off the wharf’s side and into the deep harbour waters.  The chill of the water does not deter them, nor does the height that they leap from.

 I stood and gazed out through the Heads of the harbour, off to the horizon which seemed so very far away and wondered about voyaging out there, off on an adventure to another land which would take many, many days.  I am not planning on taking any trips but it was nice to briefly dream and to let my thoughts drift with the sea around me.

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On the way back to the car I heard a crashing sound above me in the native trees and there above was a very big fat Keruru.  This one was not as shy as others I have photographed and I managed this shot.

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There were simple pleasures to be enjoyed yesterday.