Finally I have set time aside to upload a video clip of Tuis visiting the sugar water feeders in my garden last November (2014).
It is my first You Tube upload and seemed simple enough thank goodness.
To get the best effect from the You Tube clip click this link here: , turn the sound up on your device and enjoy the songs of the Tui (they have a double voice box which means they can make a large range of fluting notes, through to gurgles and croaks). All the louder bird song/sounds on this clip are those of Tui.
I hope you can also hear the rustling sounds of their wings.
I have blogged about Tui many times here on my blog and they continue to bring me endless delight as they visit the garden.
During the next breeding season I will be on the look-out for visiting fledglings and I plan to video those charming youngsters.
No, I haven’t been away on a holiday trip, although my absence from this blog might indicate that I had. I have been busy decluttering and tidying and cleaning amongst other “around the house” chores.
It is the Tuis who appear to have returned from a holiday trip to who knows where?
This photo taken on 18th December 2014 shows evidence of the last really heavy rainfall we have received and certainly left the birds looking very bedraggled.
The weather was better the next day and the Tuis gone. The heat evaporated any sugar water that was left in the feeder dishes and apart from hearing the calls of the Tui off in the distance at dawn and last light there was no evidence of the crowds that had been visiting the feeders since September.
However a month to the date, almost, the Tuis have returned.
Initially just one or two and they did not herald their arrival, choosing to drink very quietly. But in the past two days numbers have increased and our songsters are back. It had been very quiet and strange without them. Many are nervous visitors so it will take time for them to become accustomed to our presence.
Many of the new year Tuis are juveniles and almost all the birds are looking less glossy and colourful.
The light yesterday was bright and glaring when I had some moments to try out my new Monopod (a welcome Christmas gift which allows more zoom capacity without camera shake). This last photo is of a younger bird I would suspect.
As I type this post two adult Tui have been debating the use of the feeders and singing to, or perhaps, at each other with some wing flapping happening, so normal transmission has resumed.
Earlier in the week with the weather looking more summery I noticed that the Tuis were not visiting the feeders nearly as often. The flaxes are flowering and many other natural food sources are offering them good nourishment.
However the tail end of a tropical storm reached us last evening with humidity and now rain. Quite heavy rain at times and the Tuis are back and in numbers.
It is not as easy to look glamorous and well groomed today.
New Zealand Pohutukawa Tree (Metrosideros Excelsa) bursting into flower. It is a member of the myrtle family and grows very well in our harsh coastal conditions. Tui and other nectar feeding birds enjoy the flowers’ nectar.
When the Pohutukawa flowers it is said to mean that it is summer in New Zealand….mmmm we are waiting for that currently and that it is Christmas time…..well that is very correct.
Earlier in the week, as the last hour of sunshine filled the garden and the incessant wind had dropped, I went into the garden with my camera.
Lovely light on the Kowhai tree leaves.
Even the Tuis were happy to sit still for me on this occasion.
We could hope for more of the same with summer officially beginning this week.
There is definitely a change out there in the bird-o-sphere. The Sparrows and Blackbirds have been seen arguing over possible mates as the breeding season approaches even though for the humans it feels very much like the depths of winter, with spring a long way away.
In the past week the Tuis have changed their behaviours noticeably too. Groups have been visiting the Magnolia tree with all manner of chasing and flapping and branch hopping. There has been an increase in singing from the tops of trees as witnessed here.
Then yesterday after hearing several long courting and wooing choruses I spotted these two, all puffed up and looking like an old married couple. My Mum would use the term “Darby and Joan” to describe this scene.
Tui do not like to share space, especially as the males are establishing their territories in which to breed right now. So to see two birds sitting side by side so amicably was a surprise.
The cosy scene was quickly shattered as a rival bird flew into the tree.
This caused the female companion to flee and the male to look above to see where trouble lay.
Within seconds the tree was empty of Tui again.
Did you spot the sparrow photo-bombing in the last photo?
I spotted Darby and Joan together in the garden this morning again but they flew away too quickly for me to photograph.