Monday, 23 January 2012

Summer and birds

On Saturday I stood in our wetland and had Matata (Fern bird) all around me. I now have lots of different calls recorded but their quiet clicking chatter is too quiet for my cell phone to pick up. Some were calling only 2m away from me.

Melva saw Tui feeding two large fledged chicks in the Kanuka by the deck. The parent was scraping honey dew from the Kanuka then feeding the chicks.

We now have Sparrows. This spring they moved into the nearby Totara trees nested and now there are a lot. They pick spiders from the eaves of our house. Melva caught one dashing a spiny stick insect to bits before eating it. I like stick insects. Sparrows are interesting but are becoming a bother.

Also a week ago in the damp quiet evening while we were sitting on the deck with friends and having a glass of wine and a chat we were entertained by the tweeting and aerobatics of at least a dozen fantails. We don't feed the birds but have then all about. It is wonderful.

Kingfisher has nested in the bank down by the road. It is full house judging by the squawking emitting from the hole. Soon that family will be flying about.

Mr and Mrs Quail have hatched a nest of seven chicks. On Saturday they were very small, thimble sizes balls with legs. So small in fact that we had to rescue one that had panicked, run for its life, only to get snagged in the head on a blackberry thorn and left hanging unable to free itself. Now the fight for life starts. They are so small that everything from hedgehogs, rats, weasels, stoats and pukeko want to eat them. Even a good prolonged shower of rain will kill them. With the aid of our trapping we are looking forward to seeing seven new adults. We have also just installed three new Sentinel possum traps. We now have seven traps altogether and about 10 rat bait stations.

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