Tag Archives: Tom thumb bottle brush bush

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The Tom Thumb Bottle Brush bush is putting out new brushes at the moment and the Tuis love the nectar from these colourful, sweet flowers.
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Above the bush is the Melia tree and the Tui often use the lower branches as a launch pad to drop into the bush.
Here is a Tui considering a leap into the bush.
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Did he leap? Yes he did only to disturb another Tui deeper in the bush.

Patience required, magic can happen

The Kowhai tree on the reserve next to our property is in full flower. My intention has been to gather some very close up photos of the Tui feeding. So far I have been thwarted. The light has been wrong, the birds too wary of me, too many loud noises in the neighbourhood, a busy road, the speed of the birds as they harvest the nectar and tangled branches that obscure that perfect image.
I persisted today and have a few photos I am relatively happy with. Here is one:
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However later in the day one of the Tui decided that the three Tom Thumb Bottle Brush bushes that are very close to the kitchen window had plenty of pickings to feed on. Repeated visits happened all afternoon.
Here is a selection of images that I am thrilled with.
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Waxeyes on Sunday

And here the photos I took on a lovely sunny day as the Waxeyes (Maori name: Tauhou) worked their way amongst the brushes on the Bottle Brush bush, supping on nectar.

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They are skittish, tiny birds but very pretty and very welcome in the garden. Thank goodness for the kitchen window!

Sparrows on Sunday

The Bottle Brush bushes have a good covering of “brushes” right now. These bushes are located very close to our house which means the birds fly away swiftly at any approach.

Hmmm I thought why not try a photo or two through the not too clean kitchen window that overlooks this spot?
And here we are.
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A female sparrow keeping a close eye on me as I kept a close eye on her!

Spotty window, breeze, bush movement from other feeders and her own subtle movements to maintain balance have not prevented a couple of satisfying images.
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It is easy to work at the bench right now with so many birds feeding here at the moment.

I have some waxeye photos taken in the same manner to post about too.

Hide and Seek

Yesterday it was busy at the bottle brush bushes again.

At dinner preparation time I watched the Tuis come and go feeding off the multiple flowers. I snuck out the front door very quietly and with the zoom on the camera at the ready I snapped this big bird sitting on a Melia branch singing “Come out, come out wherever you are!”

To my left a head popped up and snap here is the Tui being sought. “I’m in here but I’ve more eating to do over here,” came the reply.

There seems to be the larger Tui and the second slightly smaller one who are regulars to my Tui feeding spot. Are they are breeding pair, are they parent and child….sadly I can’t tell you but I am loving having them pop in so often during the day.

Another nectar feeder visits the bottle brush bushes

The bottle brush bushes outside the kitchen window continue to bloom and attract the hungry Tuis.

They are very bossy birds and often chase any other birds out of the bush. However over the past few sunny days I have noticed the small Silvereyes (also known as Waxeyes) are visiting to feast on the nectar.

The Silvereyes dart about snatching a meal when they can and fleeing when a Tui lands to eat in the bush.

Once again the camera has come through for me and captured two photos of these welcome visitors enjoying some nectar.

A Tui Tale

The Kowhai trees have finished flowering and so the Tuis need to find other food to sustain them. Tuis have proved to be versatile and adaptable birds which enjoy nectar from introduced trees and plants as well as native trees and flaxes.

Just outside my kitchen window is a “dwarf” Bottle brush shrub (Callistemon Viminalis Little John).

It is well over 1.7 metres tall so not really a dwarf. It is bursting, slowly, into bloom at the moment and I am now treated to the following Tui antics if I am working at the bench.

The tall, wide spreading Melia tree stands above the Bottle brush and provides superb perches for Tui to rest on, sing from and to launch off into the nectary goodness of the bottle brush below.

There is no wing flapping, just a simple drop off this branch into the slender branched bush.

The drop reminds me of children “bomb” diving off the side of a swimming pool.

As the Tui lands the bush shakes and shivers and continues to do this while the bird moves about finding its next feed.

The shaking and shivering often alerts me to the fact that somewhere in the bush a Tui is feeding. Every so often a head pops up or as happened yesterday the flowers, highest and closest, to the house prove irresistible.

Getting to take a photo of any or all of these antics is tricky. The front door opening close by sends the Tui fleeing and standing near the bush waiting for a photo opportunity has not resulted in any activity. Tuis are wily birds.

Taking photos through a window usually results in the spots and marks on the window being captured and the desired object blurred. However yesterday magic happened and I captured our frequent visitor (or are there many visitors?) through the window.

Don’t you love the shawl of feathers across the back of its neck and the glorious feather colours?

It is fascinating to stand and watch the bird come to feed out of this bush. If only the sun would shine and warm us all, the bush might then cover itself in its tasty and fire engine red “bottle brushes”. The other piece of good news is that there are two more of these bushes growing alongside the big one….more Tui Tales to come from those as they mature.

A shaft of light

This shaft of light stretched into the kitchen last week in the late afternoon. The kitchen here is normally only filled with sunlight in the morning but here it is as the day came towards its end.

Out in the garden are another couple of hints that the light is on the move in positive ways.