Tea Garden

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Tui (Prosthermadera novaeseelandiae)


image of Tui (Prosthermadera novaeseelandiae) from http://freshnewday.net

Last night the stars were sparkling bright – should’ve been a frost but for the warm still air. We’re not very far off the Winter solstice, but what I’ve learned is cloudless skies, warm evenings – bad weather on the way. Sure enough, this morning dawned bright but cloudy, and as this evening has worn on the wind has reached brisk (I can feel the house shaking) breeze levels.

When we moved in here I had expected to find a fine selection of bird life – open lawns, sheltered gardens, shrubs, and trees – ideal for a cross section of urban bird species. I was surprised to find little in the way of bird life. Initially I thought it was cats, but apart from the occasional slinker, not much in the way of cats either.

And then my neighbour informed me there was a population of Tui that used most of the Tea Garden as part of their territory, and that the Tui not only saw off most birds, they were happy to dive bomb the cats and send them on their way too.

I love Tuis for their edgy acrobatics, noisy flight, and mad singing, apparently much of which is too highly pitched for humans to hear. This morning there was a real treat – three Tuis – not three metres from our front door, with one working up his repertoire. I believe Tuis breed in Spring – say September/October, and the territory setting/mate attracting is done by singing. I think we’ll have front row seats for the concerts, which will be fantastic.

So, what do you think ?

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