Thursday, 5 July 2018

A Bird's Paradise

Lately we've been busy sorting out a few issues with our rig, surviving the wet, cold weather, and spending time with friends and family. Hence, there's not been so much time for photography and blog posts.

This post is a tribute to our wonderful friends, Garth and Helen, who have created this wee paradise for birds in a section of their garden in Taranaki. You can watch the birds from the kitchen window as they enjoy the banquet laid before them. First the sugar water . . .

This bottle can be replenished several times a day. I think I recall Garth saying the birds could swig their way through a bottle in under an hour! In one of my photos we counted 11 waxeyes. Also known as silvereye, white-eye, blight-bird, tauhou, silver-eye and wax-eye. Rather confusing, but a cute little bird. You should be able to count nine in this photo below. (And at least nine in the photo above as well. Don't miss the little fella in the bottom right waiting for his turn).

This shows the entire bottle. It works on a gravity feed system.

After the entree, the main course. A whole loaf of bread fits into this structure. Notice how the waxeyes manage to fit their entire head and shoulders through the netting. 

Look mum, one "hand"!

A picture showing the bread holder Garth built. 
(The plastic blue lid on top has no significance.)

And lastly, dessert. Helen makes these moulds of fat and wild bird seed. They also scatter bird seed on the ground for the birds. This time there's a green finch joining the waxeye. Apparently, other finches often come to visit, but on the day I was there, these were all that arrived.

Three birds! A waxeye, a green finch in the background, and a sparrow.

Some close-ups of the cute little waxeyes.

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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Taitua Arboretum

Just on the outskirts of Hamilton (Raglan side) is the Taitua Arboretum. We were staying at a property up the same road and one day, just before the sun set, decided to go for a short walk up the road. This is what we found! A lovely walk through beautiful trees with lots of interesting places to enjoy along the way.

Those are chooks on the path up ahead. When they saw us, they raced towards us. Perhaps they thought we were bringing them supper! 

More friendly birds.

There was a map of the walk on boards in a couple of places, but although we studied them carefully, I can't say they were easy to commit to memory. There were optionsshall we take this path . . . or turn left . . . or maybe not! It was getting rather late and we only had time for the short walk, but as the path seemed to be curving around to the right instead of the left to head back to the road, we wondered if we'd made a wrong choice at the last fork in the road.

This peahen merged into the background making her hard to see clearly.

Dave seems to know where he's going . . . maybe?

There were plenty of ducks enjoying the wet puddles created by the recent wet weather.

A new creation in progress.

And not far from that were these interestingly placed rocks in a neighbouring paddock. We didn't really have time to investigate. We were still trying to find the way out before it became too dark.

Finally, we found the exit and the way we'd come in. These are some of the farms overlooking the entrance to Taitua Arboretum.

Off in the distance, we could see the lights of Hamilton. 

 In the other direction as we walked home along the road was the Morman Temple, all lit up, with Mount Kakepuku in the background.

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Saturday, 16 June 2018

Waikareao Walkway

We took our rig back to Tauranga for its 12-month service and ended up staying longer than we expected. We have a problem with our batteries, and this means we have to hang about over the weekend while they try to get the issues sorted out for us. 

It's a stunning day today (Saturday), and just across the road is the start of the Waikareao Walkway.

The blue dot (just to the lower left of centre of the map) shows where we were parked up, and the walkway starts near here. We walked along the western side of the estuaryyou can see Motuopae Island in the middle of the estuary.

Not too far into the walk, the pathway goes onto a wide boardwalk.

Looking over the estuary with Mount Maunganui in the distance.

A closer view of the port.

To our left, as we walked along, were people's homes. I noticed these two white-faced herons walking around on the first floor verandah of one of the houses.

The one closer to the window appeared to be trying to get inside, flying up against the glass. Perhaps he can see the reflection and thinks there's another heron inside!

Still puzzled . . . 

Looking back off to the right across the water is Takitimu Drive, the main road between Tauranga and Mount Maunganui.

A small side path winds down toward some of the houses.

The walkway is really popular with bikers, runners and walkers. Although there aren't many in my photographs, we came across at least two dozen cyclists and just as many walkers and runners out for their morning exercise. The Waikareao Walkway is well-used.

That's Motuopae Island in the middle of the estuary, with Mount Maunganui in the background.

A slightly closer view with the Mount on the far left and the port visible off to the right of the island.

We eventually reached some bush. There didn't seem to be any signs around, so I assume it's McCardles Bush as per the signage at the beginning of our walk.

Time to head back.

Home . . . for the next two nights at least!

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