In my post yesterday I mentioned that as a delightful counterpoint to listening for rumbling earth tremors, and creaking and groaning house timbers or ominous rattling, I had discovered the bird song in the garden to be that of a Thrush or Song Thrush as they can be known.
I have been on to this simply outstanding website and gathered up some bits of information about our very tuneful friend. He has the capacity to sing without pause for several hours I am discovering this morning.
The Thrush is an introduced bird to New Zealand and is found through-out the country. It is a pretty bird with speckles on a proud cream breast. They love to sing from a high branch or on a tree top, although they are often seen on the ground foraging for food.
Here is “my” one- high up on the flowering cherry tree
And then, when not enjoying my proximity, he flew to a neighbour’s Silver Birch tree….can you spot him as a distant blur in the centre of the photo?
These seem to be his current favourite vantage points from which to tell all that this is his territory. Information indicates that at this time of the year as breeding is about to get under way (August through to February) the male thrush sings to inform of his territorial ownership.
The song is distinctive and attractive with many notes repeated several times before another phrase is sung and repeated. NZ Birds online website here has several recordings worth listening to. I was amazed to find that the first two were from 1845 and the early 1900’s in Christchurch and are part of the Natural History Unit Sound Archive.www.archivebirdsnz.com
In spring and summer I am often alerted to a Thrush on the ground by the sound of loud cracking on the concrete path. Thrushes love snails (and slugs) and will work very hard to crack open the shell so they can eat the contents….
So now I need to look for the chorister’s mate and check the trees in our Tall Tree area of the garden to see if I can spot a nest being built in days to come. I think I found a Thrushes’ nest down in that spot last autumn.
Every so often we find a blue-green egg with speckles on it, cracked and empty after a Thrush fledgling has hatched and the egg remains have been tossed out on to the ground.
Do go and visit the website to enjoy the clear and informative photos, sound recordings and data there.
And I will continue to listen to the performance that has been going on for 5 hours now bar a short intermission when the Thrush hopped past my glass sliding door and I swear he winked at me
Two Keruru (NZ Wood Pigeon) were spotted by a family member at a nearby Keruru(More infomation about them here) “hang-out” spot so we headed down to this wooded area, armed with cameras, in the hope that they would still be there.
At first we could not see any, but these are shy birds, whose backs blend in with the leaves and they like to perch in very tall trees. They are clever at hiding.
I did spot one and moved towards it as quietly as I could. As so often happens the bird spotted me and turned gracefully around to face away from me.
More stealth was required and with good fortune I could see the Keruru snoozing. The head of the Keruru is very small in comparison with its very large body and they tend to hunker into themselves when sleepy.
I waited patiently but zzzzz’ing was on the agenda with this bird. I turned around to find a rather inquisitive Thrush nearby. My movement caused it to scamper off a bit and with an inadequate zoom lens it looks very small here. We played a little “Catch me if you can.”
However my attention on the Thrush seemed to rouse the Keruru and I got this shot. Perhaps the Keruru liked the “Catch me” game too?