Tag Archives: Protea

A table for two?

The large Kowhai trees across the road have begun flowering this week and the numbers of Tui circulating in the area has risen dramatically. The air is full of the sound of their calls and their wing beats.

Word has spread amongst the birds about the sugar water feeder in my garden. So food is available across the road in the Kowhais, the Banksia and the Protea and drinks are on tap here.
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Yesterday in the better weather there were a lot of Tui visiting the feeder at lunch time. These two were not initially happy with seating arrangements.

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But after some flapping and shuffling about peace was agreed upon and drinks were shared.DSCF0556

Later in the afternoon there was significant fence hopping between the larger male and the smaller female. The various songs, calls and squawks alert me to this dance and I recognise these behaviours from earlier in the year. It was not long after the fence dance then that I found the fledglings in the tall trees in the garden.
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Spring and new babies are not far away for the Tui.

The Fallen Ones

In a rather optimistic move this afternoon I put on my jacket and hood and went out to get some photos of the fallen trees near my home. The wind was still blustery and the wind chill factor meant outdoors it was below freezing so my trip outside was very short lived.

This Silver Dollar Gum crashed to the ground across the road from our home around 8pm as the storm really took hold and somehow we heard the sound of chainsaws over the raucous din of the roaring wind. An emergency crew had been called as this large tree had fallen across the road blocking each lane.
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Sometime around 1am when I had finally fallen asleep more chain saw men turned up and cut up more of this tree perhaps after the gale had moved some of the bulk out on to the road again.
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This Taupata was trimmed by the City Council last year because it is on Reserve land. They had left it a rather vulnerable shape and that plus its age and the terrific winds saw it split off at the base. The remaining branch looks potentially rotten so this tree may well disappear completely. The Council might plant another native in its place on the Reserve.

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This is the really sad victim of the storm. It is the large Protea tree that I posted about here.
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It has been a Tui meal table for months now. I can sit and watch this tree and the activities of the Tuis.

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But the rain that has fallen all week has saturated the ground and that plus the top heavy shape of this tree and the violent wind has caused it to break off at ground level. I doubt that it can be recovered from here.
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I note in this photo that I have captured a Tui in the tree and they are still visiting it to enjoy the nectar but it is a vastly different tree now and so sad to see.
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