Thursday, 17 January 2013

 I'm sitting here with kereru feeding on Miro berries and a Tui defending 'his' flowering Rata outside the window. At least three pigeons are in the Miro but there may be more the way the upper branches are swaying. It looks like a troupe of monkeys are at work!

Despite several aborted attempts at posting a spring and then early summer blog this will be my first blog for several months. Blogspot changed their set up which made it frustratingly difficult to operate using dial-up, but now I think I have mastered it and we are using 3G so I hope to blog more frequently in future.
This has been a fabulous year for forest flowering. We returned from New York to hillsides covered in white. The Olearia was spectacular. A supporting cast of native clematis, epiphytic brachiglotis and manuka resulted in the bush looking as if there had been a heavy snowfall.

The flowering theme has continued, first with coastal Pohutakawa (not found on the estate) and currently with a spectacular display of Rata. Different trees have been flowering for more than seven weeks.
On the bird front it appears to have been a good season. Highlights have been the occasional Kaka, a gathering of half a dozen extremely noisy Shining Cuckoo in a Totara by the house, a male Kiwi calling behind the house, a gathering of 30 or so Swallows at Bruno and Barbara's, and very healthy numbers of Tui, Bellbird, Kingfisher, Tomtit, Fantail, Grey warbler etc. Morepork have continued to put on a show on the deck at night and I have tried experimenting with my Iphone taking photos through the telescope.

There have been few butterflies around. However, a highlight has been a number of Helm's butterflies - at least seven on the estate and one in the Manaia sanctuary.
Does anyone know what species this is?

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