Sunday, 20 October 2013


The Fantails that were nesting by the deck have left the nest and are busy being fed by the parent birds. Fantastic! They made a perfect nest this time in a nicely sheltered location. There are two chicks. One of the parents is the bird that visits the compost bin with Melva. It is not frightened of us at all. Such dear little birds.

A Walk on Whatitiri Maunga

What a fantastic place. At the top of Whatitiri Maunga near Whangarei in Northland there is a small DOC Reserve accessed from Simons Road. It is public road all the way to the reserve though not all maintained by Whangarei District Council. There is a gate. Just go over it.
The Reserve is predominantly Tarairi but there are fine specimens of Tawa and Pukatea and Kohekohe. There is an abundance of New Zealand Jasmine and Hen and Chickens ferns. We even found a Green Hooded Orchid. There are no tracks in the reserve but it is easy to explore. This bush is interesting as it is quite different to most other northland bush.
At 351 metres Whatitiri Maunga is one of the higher hills in the region. The views from around the reserve are fantastic
One of the views

A small Tarairi near the reserve



An old Tawa

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Late Spring

The Fantails are feeding their first clutch just near our deck. We have just discovered that if one sees a fantail flying in a straight line it is flying a feed home to the chicks. The rest of the time, and all year, they do acrobatics with that fancy tail showing off.
Cuckoo arrived from a South West Pacific Island on the 26th September. Late to our place this year. The first arrival of this little migratory bird we heard of was an early 7th September.

Our early blackberries are in flower. Almost no fruit last summer. We need them to perform this summer. The blooms were visited by lots of bees this sunny day.

Melva found a new, quite rare shrub yesterday. It is called Alseuosmia Banksii - Variation Linariifolia. It is in bloom and its perfume is fantastic. Lovely small shrub in the understory. It grows to about a metre high. We also found that we have a second variety of Mahoe. It too is in bloom.

We have had two bee hives since last February. The second hive has been fairly quiet. Lately the new post winter brood hatched so it and the first hive are rocking. Loads of bees. They are everywhere collecting pollen and nectar as more and more flowers bloom.

Always some more Fernbird stories. Some friends from the OSNZ visited and the birds performed as expected. Difficult to get photos but I love this great shot. There is another of one carrying something white and round in its beak back to its nest. Too blurry to use. We had fantastic sightings that day with the birds very close to us.