Sunday, 19 June 2011

Our Nature at Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice. Sunny, showery colder, South Westerly breeze.
This week Melva heard Hawk calling for a mate high up over our valley. Last year we heard Hawk first on the 21st July. One calm morning this week as we walked on our road we could smell the sweet scent of the Mingimingi buds. We first noticed them last year on the 28th July. Things seem early this year. It has been warmer than other years.
Today,  Adrian and Judi Gilbert, Pat Heaphy, Sophie Edwards, Melva and myself as well as Robyn and Rose Skerten and friends counted shore birds at the Te Maika end of the Ngunguru Sandspit for the Ornithological Society. We do this about every quarter. The Dottrels were paired and in full bright breeding colours. Loads of Oyster Catchers as usual. Others we counted were Pied Shag, Red and Black Billed Gulls, Black Backed Gulls, Pipits, Reef Herons, Caspian Terns, Green Finches, Hawk, Gannet and Chaffinch. It was high tide so great for counting as all the birds were settled on high ground waiting for it to receed. It is their quiet time.
On the way home there was a male Pheasant in our lane. This is a first for us. We hope he stays.