First day of spring

It’s the first day of spring. This fantail, and a couple of silvereyes before it, celebrated with a good splish in the birdbath.

This reminds me, yesterday afternoon we were watching about 10 dolphins having a good time at Manly beach. There were more people there watching than there are on some days in mid-summer. It’s like living on the Serengeti around here!!

More robin nests at Shakespear

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Had an absolute stunner of a Shakespear day for sunshine and finding robin nests. We have four nests now and still none found at Tawharanui. The nest pictured is in a kiekie about two meters off the ground and easily photographed without disturbing the female. Next time I check her I’ll look to see how many eggs she has while she’s off the nest. Such tolerant birds.

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I heard the resident single male robin singing in this valley behind the campground this morning so if you’re camping at Shakespear Park this summer you might get a dawn chorus of robin as well as whiteheads and all the regulars. The paired males generally sing a lot less so if he’s not so vocal later in summer it may mean he’s attracted one of this year’s fledglings as a mate. They won’t nest until next season though.You’ll find some robin song on this link.

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NZ pigeon/kereru

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Tawharanui was just swarming with kereru this week. It may just have been because they are feeding low that they were so noticeable. In the absence of much fruit at the moment they are browsing on  foliage, in this case the tiny flowers and leaves of the divaricating Coprosma it is sitting on. Doesn’t look that appetising.

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Spot the kereru? Dead centre, about a meter off the ground.

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Who lives here

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Around the coastal cliffs at Shakespear Park there are some really nice patches of bush. I was checking one of these for robins the other day and came across a couple of burrows. One looked newish but unused, but this one looked well used. I’d believe it was a little blue penguin as they do nest in the park and they will walk a long way from the coast to their burrow but this one has quite a cliff below it. Maybe it’s a grey faced petrel as they nest locally – I’ll have to check it out.

The sun was going down by the time I finished and a few minutes later the moon rose behind me (yes, photos taken in that order).

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First robin nest at Shakespear Park

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Ok, this isn’t a Shakespear bird – all the North Island robins released there this year have bands on their legs. But the big news is that the first robin nest has been found at Shakespear Park so they’ve made themselves at home very quickly. In fact they’re a couple of weeks ahead of the usual start to nesting in early September. During the winter males and females tend not to get on very well. About now they start to tolerate each other (translates as ‘the male stops chasing the female away’). Then he’ll begin to courtship feed, collecting food to present to her. So the seasonal pendulum swings. As long as the nest survives I’ll follow it through to fledging. Fingers crossed.

Shakespear Park walk

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Thanks to all of you who came to Forest and Bird’s – Discover the Wetlands walk at Shakespear Park yesterday. Though it was bracing in the wind we were unbelievably lucky to have the sun at least. I hope you get the chance to pick a nice day to do the walk again and find yourself a spotless crake. Take your binoculars as there is usually a lot more life about than we saw yesterday.

I noticed this morning that the dawn chorus was early. Over the last few weeks it has moved from 6.55 to 6.45 but this morning the first tuis and thrushes called at 6.33. A short while later a morepork called before going off to bed. I do love that day/night crossover, particularly in the evening when the tui is making its last straggling calls as the morepork begins a night of hunting.