It’s been a long time coming this blog. I just had a look at the last time I wrote anything and it was way back in November. And it was about cicadas which I’m just going to write about now. How can I call my blog Birding Around when cicadas keep popping up!
I talked at Shakespear Park on Sunday (at SOSSI’s monthly volunteer day for those who can’t make it on Tuesdays) about the cicada species of the area. There are ten species that I know of, which is often a surprise to people. Most of us know the large loud chorus cicada of February but not the smaller, quieter ones singing any time from mid-October through to May-June.
Until recently I only had nine species on my list but I borrowed a bat detector from a bat guy and stumbled across a new cicada for me in front of the beachfront campground at Orewa. The reason for the bat detector, and the reason I haven’t found this species before, is that the high frequency song of some of the cicadas is beyond my hearing.
I think it’s Rhodopsalta cruentata but I need someone to check the photo and confirm this. It was singing on lupin bushes behind the dunes and kept singing even when I was very close.
Anyway, the morning at Shakespear Park was very enjoyable and we found a few of the Kikihia (Green cicadas) that some of our group hadn’t seen before. We were productive,too, in our task of weeding out a small legume which is becoming a nuisance on the back of the dunes along Te Haruhi Bay – coincidentally where R. cruentata would be found if it was present in the park.