Tag Archives: wood pigeons

My favourite photographs from March

My camera has been quietly resting for the last few weeks but I have been out and about on a few days in March this year.

Here are my favourite photographs from March. I really like the contrasts between the brown bleached hills and the lush greens seen in the trees and leaves of other photos.  Nature showing so much of its best around or near my home.

The big dry on the Belmont Hills

The big dry on the Belmont Hills

Early morning at home

Early morning at home

Silhouette of a Fantail.  A fleeting moment of stillness.

Silhouette of a Fantail. A fleeting moment of stillness.

Keruru feasting on Karamu berries ( I think)

Kereru feasting on Karamu berries ( I think)

The stunning work of a small spider.

The stunning work of a small spider.

This ball of feathers is a fantail preening - so little stillness with these delightful birds

This ball of feathers is a fantail preening – so little stillness with these delightful birds

I counted 6!

With the help of my sharp-eyed companions I spotted 6 Keruru at the Otari Bush Reserve yesterday.

The Karaka and Tawa tree berries are abundant at the moment so the birds have plenty to feast on.
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Two of the birds were perching in trees that allowed some reasonable close-up photos to be taken.

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I have added the count of 6 to the Counting Keruru website. The survey closes today. The results will be most interesting. It is exciting to be witnessing the resurgence of these beautiful native birds.

A walk to the Lookout

We had a perfect spring day here yesterday. It was sunny, warm and calm. We feel we deserve some really nice weather after weeks of grey, cloudy, very windy conditions.

After dinner last night we strolled up to the end of the street. We live on a cul-de-sac and at the top of the street there is a large grassy, tree lined reserve, signposted as The Lookout.

When it was first established the views would have been quite spectacular. But the Radiata pine trees, the gum trees, the Pohutukawas and other natives have grown towards the sky and good views are only glimpsed. Nevertheless it is a great spot in which to relax and enjoy nature.

The flaxes are flowering abundantly, offering our nectar loving birds more treats. The pollen is visible on these tubular flowers and we often see Tui with pollen on their heads and necks after they have feasted.

This magnificent Cabbage tree is flowering abundantly. Some say that means the summer will be a hot one. We have lived here long enough to know not to get too excited about such predictions…..but we do hope all the same.

Fellow blogger Ruth told me that the flowers of the Cabbage tree have a beautiful perfume and this tree was certainly filling the still air with the most delicate aroma. Our native wood pigeons love the flowers and seeds of this tree. This tree would be quite a venue for a wood pigeon gathering to eat their fill.

The light was beginning to fade as we left the Cabbage tree.

And the sun set as we neared home.

Will a Kereru call?

My eye has been caught in the past few days by clusters of fat yellow/orange berries hanging on native trees. They are Karaka trees which produce their very large berries in summer time.

There is a small Karaka tree on the reserve next to my home and it has plenty of berries on it too this year. It is a surprisingly small size given how big Karaka trees can grow and normally it has very few berries on it but this year it is dotted with the pretty coloured berries.

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From Te Ara, the online encyclopaedia of New Zealand I read that the seed inside of each berry contains Karakin, a lethal toxin. Maori discovered that by first baking and then soaking the seeds in water they are safe for human consumption. Don’t try this at home without further detailed information I would suggest.

However in true symbiotic style our beautiful native wood pigeon, the Kereru is the only bird who can swallow these whopping berries and they help regenerate the Karaka trees.

The feast of berries this summer is going to fill the substantial bellies of Kereru who are appearing in our area in increasing numbers.

I wonder if the small tree near my home will be visited by passing Keruru? I hope so.