Te Ahumairangi Hill is a place I should visit more often.
Yesterday, I went there looking for a nesting pair of New Zealand falcons (karearea) which were reportedly defending their nest site by swooping on passing pedestrians. A swooping falcon with claws outstretched is something to be treated with caution. They are among the fastest birds on earth, and handlers of captive birds usually wear heavy gauntlets to prevent injury. I was in the area of the reported attacks and saw a large bird moving quickly towards me. In other circumstances I would be delighted to see a lowland parrot in the wild, bit I wanted a falcon. It was too dark to catch its normally irridescent plumage, but the profile of the kaka is unmistakable.
Despite wandering the steep tracks for about an hour, I saw no falcon. I shall try on another day. Just being up on the hill offers some consolation, offering as it does, many interesting views down onto the city, though it is sometimes an effort to get into a position that offers a clear view of a particular scene.
Falcon-less, I wheezed my way back up the hill to the ridgeline track and caught a view of the mast on Mt Kaukau.
Once back on the ridgeline, it was but a short walk back to the car, and from the car park there was a lovely view back up the harbour to the Hutt valley.
That will do for now.