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.