Sometimes the gift of a visitor helps to see a familiar place in new ways.
We took my brother-in-law Paul to Zealandia yesterday. The weather was surprisingly good, and interrupted a span of wet and wind. On the lower dam, a pair of scaup were snoozing amidst the bright green reflections from the surrounding bush.
Birdsong was everywhere, and the tui were especially visible. I am not sure if they are adopting magpie tactics but they were swooping over the visitors to the park as if to deter them from their nest sites. When we were undeterred they perched nearby and gave us the “side-eye”.
Up in the “discovery area, stitchbird, North Island Robins and bellbird were feeding. I could hear saddlebacks but didn’t get a clear view of them. The robin walked across my foot, so close that I couldn’t focus on it. And then there was a bellbird music fest. Second only to the grey warbler, the bellbird is one of the best songsters in the New Zealand bush. It has a clear liquid chiming note that is a joy to hear.
The “character” bird of the sanctuary is undoubtedly the kaka. The kaka is a big lowland bush dwelling parrot with a beak that looks capable of amputations. Though there is a great deal of celebration at their reestablishment in the city, they are capable of ring-barking trees so not every gardener is pleased.
Later in the day, I had to deliver my prints to my friends and colleagues who were setting up the annual exhibition of the Hutt Camera Club which will be open daily from 10 am to 4 pm in the Odlin Art gallery, Myrtle St., Lower Hutt from 30 September until October 11. If you are in the area, please drop in. I feel honoured to have four images in the exhibition.
That’s all this time