Yesterday’s edition was about a surfeit of rain.
Today I am happy to report a splendid warm sunny day. I had the very great pleasure of lunch with a friend at the Rata cafe in the wildlife sanctuary, Zealandia. Lunch was excellent, and the stroll though the reserve afterwards was beneficial to us both. It was especially good for me because my friend Allan is married to one of the volunteer guides so he knew where to find all the habitats that most of us walk past without seeing. This shapeless bundle of not-quite feathers is a kereru chick, sleeping in the nest. It was at eye level, no more than three metres from the main track. Hard to believe that this will become and irridescent green, grey and purple vision that is our native wood pigeon.
Then we found a tuatara … in fact several tuatara. According to Wikipedia, “tuatara are the only surviving members of their order, which flourished around 200 million years ago“. The jewelry behind its neck is the reptilian equivalent of the bands used by scientists to identify birds. A stainless steel wire is inserted through a skin fold and the coloured beads added and held in place by keepers similar to those used on ear rings. I hate seeing them, but understand the scientific need.
Then we came to the kaka feeding station. The kaka is an endangered native parrot, found mostly in lowland forest. It is foolishly unafraid, and not much liked by local gardeners because it can ringbark trees as it uses that fearsome beak to get at the underlying sap.
Within Zealandia, they have flourished, and have spread to neighbouring bush areas where they seem to be breeding successfully as evidence by the number of un-banded birds seen at the feeding station. Their plumage is darker than that of their alpine cousin, the kea but handsome nevertheless.
That’s all for today.