General chat

“Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat?”

Do it here. Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted.

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29 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  19th September 2017

    Pooki, Bluey, Charlie & Prettygirl. (Bluebelle stuck at home still, getting young Jojo ready for Kohanga Reo. Will be along later for her breakfast cereal.)

    Charlie flew in low over the fence, plenty of clearance either side. Wings & tail flared to air-brake, 4 webbie-steps runway required. Impressive display of flying skill. Dining area behaviour much improved. Ass might look a little less chubby?

    Reply
    • Pickled Possum

       /  19th September 2017

      Massive bro!!!
      Pooks an rakiraki All at Gezza Dina.
      I hear te whiorau is thinking about flying in for Take Aways.
      From the ngahere up the line.

      You better keep you boyz under control cos the Blue duck has only 1 mate .. in their life time.🐥🐣

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  19th September 2017

        Nice to see Maori & Pakeha waterbirds happily having a meal together with no argy bargy about who was here first. Just agreeing that the service & the kai’s kapai at this Dina! 👍🏼

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        • phantom snowflake

           /  19th September 2017

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  19th September 2017

          Hmm. Interesting. Pukeko behaviour varies a lot from location to location, even in the way different groups in the same general area raise their chicks. Far from bring aggressive, mine are curious & very wary, & easily spooked by sudden or big movements – they’ll shriek & run off or fly to a safe distance.

          I’d be looking around for chicks if mine behaved like that. They hide them. And make a lot of noise when they see you, warning the chick &/or each other.

          I thought they had a very limited call sounds repertoire, but as mine get more used to me they are becoming much more chatty & have quite a few different noises for conveying information & emotional state, including the recognisable equivalent of “Huh? What are you doing there, buddy?”.

          These birds are true raptors. If you want to watch how a raptor dinosaur moved and looked, sit quietly (they’ll watch you all the time) and just observe these birds do their daily work in their own territory. Although we all see the silly ones clobbered on the roads, they’re way more sensitive, aware, industrious & ingenious than ducks in their preferred natural habitat. And strong. You can’t miss the dinosaur connection.

          Also:

          Reply
          • phantom snowflake

             /  19th September 2017

            Unfortunately I’m currently in a Pukeko-free zone. I really quite miss the almost unearthly screeches after dark at my last home.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  19th September 2017

              They sure know when you’re out there. You can’t see them, but they can see you, & they bloody let you know, in NO uncertain terms, that you’re being observed! Kee-awwww-weh! Always three times, 2 secs or so between each one. I thought purple would be a terrible camouflage colour but actually its excellent in amongst foliage. Even the red beak just looks like a flower.

            • Gezza

               /  19th September 2017

              Also that call above sets off a chain of them up & down the stream. It’s a pass-it-on-intruder-alert call. And from a big male, underneath the piercing shriek, there’s a helluva chest-generated simultaneous BOOM!

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  19th September 2017

              I have had a few near heart attacks on the walkway at night, before I realised what it was.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  19th September 2017

              I’m a big fan of the Pukeko’s cuzzie, the Takahe, which I first saw up close at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.
              http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/takahe/

            • Gezza

               /  19th September 2017

              I got up close and personal to one of them in an enclosure while visiting Mana Island, a bird sanctuary, four years ago. Just trying to remember his name, Arthur or Albert or something, the ranger said. Definitely a similar colour bird, but (don’t tell any of them I said this) compared to my pookies, these takahe fullas are fat ass lazy ducks.

            • Gezza

               /  19th September 2017

              We had a pod of six dolphins race alongside the launch on the way back to the jetty at Plimmerton. Man they were fast. I could damn near reach down and touch them as they came up & skimmed the surface before burrowing in & doing it again. They do it just for the sheer joy of showing off that they can ace it racing a fast motorboat, I reckon. It topped off a magic day.

        • Gezza

           /  19th September 2017

          @ snowflake who walks

          That old koro takahe in the enclosure was Alec. Went there with my hiking group & sundry others in a second launch load. Chatted up all the sheilas. No luck that day though. They were all married.
          (The sheilas, not the takahe.)

          Mana Island
          Open to the public
          Takahē population: ~20
          Year introduced: 1987
          Governed by: DOC, Ngāti Toa and Friends of Mana Island

          This seemingly flat-topped island is a distinctive feature of Wellington’s west coast, and is home to about 20 takahē including 8 breeding pairs.

          Mana has a longstanding history with takahē recovery, being the first secure island site establish to facilitate takahē breeding, and remains to be one of the most productive ones.
          ………….

          http://www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/takahe-recovery-programme/get-involved/where-takahe-live/mana-island/

          Reply
  2. phantom snowflake

     /  19th September 2017

    Reply
  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  19th September 2017

    I was admiring the waxeye nest this morning, but couldn’t see if anyone was inside without standing on something and looking in. I’ll be glad when it’s no longer needed, as the tree is too tall and blocks the light to the bedroom, but I can’t prune it if there’s a waxeye family or set of eggs in it. They would choose that one, of course. It’s a good thing that I saw it before I began lopping the top branches off.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  19th September 2017

      I spotted & cell cam photographed a nest last night, up in the tree over the fence, halfway down the bank. Might post it later. Was poor light so may not have come out well. Dunno what bird it will be.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  19th September 2017

        I could photograph this one, it’s near the edge. It’s sweet, like a wee basket hanging on the twigs.There was one in the ash tree and I managed to take one of birds in/on it. It’s not a great photo as I dared not go too close, but the occupant could be plainly seen, as could visiting bird/s.

        Poor meanspirited PDT, how they hate to see something positive.

        It was ages before I realised why birds didn’t nest in the obvious place-the forks of trees-where the nest would be most stable….they’d be cats’ takeaways. One seldom sees a fallen nest, anyway.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  19th September 2017

          Little Black Shag in the stream yesterday. By the time I ran in & git the cellcam & scrambled doen the bank for a close-up he’d got bored & moved on up the stream. He’s an occasional visitor only.

          Last couple of weeks I’ve had a pied shag swim up tbe stream, doing a bit of underwater diving.

          The stream must be pretty healthy I think. By the time it gets to my place it’s really a small river. Its mainly fed by runoff – from brooks, streams, drains & springs delivering rainwater from the nearby Western & Southern Hills – forested, native & pine, so it’s naturally filtered & there’s not a lot of nearby farmland pouring nitrates etc into it.

          And though I saw a couple of overflow stormwater outlet pipes on a walk along the parenga (stream bank) today, our Northern Welly sewerage is pumped to the Porirua treatment plant near Titahi Bay, under an arrangement with WCC.

          Tell you what I noticed the other day Kitty. I haven’t seen any magpies. We used to have dozens of the aggro little Stukas. Been maybe a decade since I’ve seen one here now. Any up your way?

          Reply
      • Gezza

         /  19th September 2017

        @ Kitty – Robert is your cousin’s father! 👍🏼
        (or Bob’s your uncle, if you prefer):

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  19th September 2017

          Nice little one-room studio penthouse appartment, exclusive area, secluded, great views. Available for viewing by appointment (now I’ve spotted it) from my kitchen window, Looking forward to seeing who the new neighbours are, if it’s a brand new apartment. It probably is. We’ve had strong enuff winds this Winter to whip that out of the tree if it was there then.

          Reply
  4. Kitty Catkin

     /  19th September 2017

    I’ve been listening to a Queen LP….

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    • Gezza

       /  19th September 2017

      Strong chance PDT is a religious nutter, MIA lately.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  19th September 2017

        You and I and a couple others have long ago trespassed against him. Unlike Our Father, he does not forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

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      • Kitty Catkin

         /  19th September 2017

        ??? I wonder…they do seem to resent simple pleasures like bird-watching ! Perhaps it’s sinful to enjoy the wonders of nature.

        It IS a wonder to see a waxeye nest; I could weave nothing so good and fine, and they only have beaks and claws and have never been shown how to weave a basket.

        🙂 There are blue ladybirds around here-living lapis lazuli-and black ones like living opals. i once disturbed a colony of blue ones when I was tossing dead leaves out of a tree fork…I have never seen so many. The leaves were hastily put back.

        Do you have wetas ? I have had an odd one saunter into the sittingroom. I am not afraid of them, but have learned to carry them out on something rather than in my hand because they cling on with those claws (‘Let go, will you ? It’s raining and freezing out here ! LET GO !!!’ Weta ‘Shan’t !’ )

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  19th September 2017

          Haven’t seen any lately but we get humungous ones round here – big yellow & black striped ones – the Wellington Tree Weta:
          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weta

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  20th September 2017

            We have ones that cover my hand lengthwise. It’s always a surprise to see them walking into the sittingroom. I rather like these big insecks.

            I have never forgiven myself for killing one years ago-it came in on the paper and gave me a real fright, which is a poor excuse. I must say that I hadn’t seen one so close up-it was in Wellington and was a striped one, so must have been a tree weta.

            It was a real surprise to see a frog spreadeagled on the front door glass that night. I do like having a clear glass door instead of one with dunny glass panels.

            Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  19th September 2017

    We are off to visit a bird sanctuary today so may have some pics later but they have already been a presence during our stay. Our hostess feeds ducks in her swimming pool, guinea fowl are everywhere, and some kind of goose keeps crash landing on the roof. We’ve seen quite a few magpies here on our trips too. Yesterday our housemaid couldn’t come to work because the taxi drivers were throwing rocks at busses and set one on fire. My wife’s old friend is afraid to ho out because teenage gangsters have guns and are randomly killing people. The police are too frightened to intervene. Some of the police are corrupt and sell captured weapons back to the gangs. The bureaucracy is crippling and make work schemes employ three people to do one job so you queue three times to get one thing done. The banks are hamstrung by reams of obstructive regulations and the local Vodacom website crashes continuously and won’t let you logon to its forum to complain. Somehow people struggle on despite all this. There are smiles and good will and lovely places persisting everywhere amongst the mess. And the country is a melting pot of refugees and immigrants fleeing from the rest of Africa where things are so much worse.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  19th September 2017

      What part of the country are you in Alan or would it be better not to say?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  20th September 2017

        We are in the northern suburbs of Cape Town which seem mostly safe and peaceful, but travelling around the whole area of Western Cape province.

        Reply

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