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.

25 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  January 5, 2018

    Pook Family Update
    For Possum, Kitty, & Trav – There was steady but light rain all night & the stream’s only come up about 6 inches, so the pook nest is safely well above the wai.

    Young Aspen heard me in the kitchen & jumped up & over the fence at 7am, came up to just below the kitchen window, & asked for wheat. They all make the same special noise to ask me for food – it’s a short, double, low-pitched whimper. They do it twice.

    After he’d eaten in the brick garden, which I’ve made their regular feeding spot, he jumped back over the fence. So I looked over. Aspen straight away had started pulling out dead, dried crocosmia leaves and taking them to the nest. Bluey was busy doing the same thing from the opposite side. They refresh the nest every day.

    Sweetie was on the nest, with Pickles, & Bluey stopped & walked up the bank up to the gate (another small flat area I cleared & levelled as a feeding spot) asking for his wheat. He ate most of it but then started picking up single grains & taking them down to the nest in several trips. Wheat grains are too big for Pickles – its beak is white, pointy & still teeny, so he cracks the wheat & then feeds her beak-to-beak. They all feed Pickles, they might be regurgitating food at the moment, I think.

    Sweetie then left Pickles with the boys & came up for hers, then returned to the nest again. The sun was streaming down by now, and what is really neat is they are now letting Pickles come out and stumble around, in the open & they are totally relaxed about me watching & videoing them all caring for & feeding her. With luck they might now stay around my place as she grows.

    I’ve only got 3G 2mp cellcam clips (mag 2x) so far, & Pickles is really hard to see on them because it’s jet black and it’s so, so small it gets lost in the shadows – looks like a tiny penguin, flapping its stunted wee short wings as it stumbles around the little bush-flattened play area they’re all making. Still not cheeping yet – that will come though.

    I’ve bought a smartphone – 13mp camera. As soon as I’ve figured out the cellcam operation where it stores the files & how to download, I’ll start filming with that.

    Btw, I’ve got another birdie family I’m watching too – Beryl & Fledgy Blackbird have chicks in their nest high up in the tree opposite the kitchen, & are being kept busy feeding them insects all day. Beryl chases away the tuis, flies at them straight away. I’ve had a pair of tuis who were visiting regularly but have now been scared off by a ferocious mummy blackbird. All of these birds respond to being talked to. They pause in whatever they’re doing, & they listen to me & they let me get quite close to them. 😀

    • Pickled Possum

       /  January 5, 2018

      Morena bro Yes the birds love being spoken to up this way too.
      Some big trees fallen down in the village, one just missed the town Hall !!
      The trees on the back hill are bending in the wind … poor birds.
      That Aspen seems to be ok. Hope he’s not, just grooming pickles.

      • Gezza

         /  January 5, 2018

        I keep thinking of Pickles as a baby girl pook, sis. But I’ve got no idea what sex she is – they all look exactly the same – only way I can ever tell is when they’re a few months old & one of the males starts whining at them for nooky. Adult females are usually smaller than adult males, but adolescent males & females are visually indistinguishable.

        I could always recognise Bluebelle because she had a noticeable callous on her right foot between the back & the right first talon, probably an injury as a youngster. From my 3 years of observations, if Pickles is female the boys will try to breed with her in about six months.

        Whichever sex Pickles is, it’ll get told in no uncertain terms to move out & find its own territory in about 9 months to a year. They’re spreading further downstream Northwards each year.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 5, 2018

          Pickles could be either-it’s not as if you have named them Pauline or Pierre.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 5, 2018

            I heard a little toot-toot this morning as I walked down the street (this seemed like a good idea at the time) and saw some ducks hastily scrambling to the verge from the road.

          • Gezza

             /  January 5, 2018

            Yes, that’s why I named the chick Pickles, Kitty – it’s gender neutral. But it feels awkward referring to the chick as an “it”. I automatically want to call it a her, or a him, like we do with human chilidren.

            I called Aspen a neutral name too, becos I didn’t know his sex until yesterday, when he started whining at Sweetie & she let him know she wasn’t old enuf to be doing that stuff yet. So I only found out what sex each of those two was at that point yesterday.

            I must copy these posts as source material for one of my book chapters.

        • Gezza

           /  January 5, 2018

          I am getting a tad concerned. It’s been raining quite heavily for the last two hours. The stream’s risen over a metre & is running rough, brown, & strong, with a lot of branches & debris whooshing thru. Another two feet & the nest will be washed away.

          I’ve been getting 3 pooky meal requests in my backyard per hour since 8am! One after the other. They come up, hop the fence, shriek, have a handul of wheat, (I’m putting it down in the covered patio by my back screen door – I know they’re waterbirds, but it’s blowing outside now, & they look miserable in the rain). They then top it off with a few beakfuls of grass, hop back over the fence & go straight down & feed Pickles, letting the poor, wet, nest sitter come up for theirs next.

          Sweetie’s getting most of the nest duty today. Aspen & Bluey have both just had a feed & gone back down the parenga. Bluey looks a bit concerned at the water-level. He keeps going just below the nest & staring at the wai. I hope they don’t have to move Pickles because they’re in the perfect location for me to observe & video the family’s doings.

          Pickles is fluffy now, & I notice she does seem to have a tiny red plate on her forehead. It’s just not joined up with her beak yet.

          • Gezza

             /  January 5, 2018

            There’s been a howling Southerly blowing right up the stream for several hours. Looks like the pooklet & whichever pook it is hunkered down in the nest are in for a wild, wet, & cold night.

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful update. Your pool stories and wildlife observations gladden my heart.

    It occurs to me that we nearly always have birds in our peripheral vision wherever we are in this world of ours. This week away at our farmhouse and MOTH hung a Martial Eagle, a Bateleur and a Fish Eagle down the hallway. He loves the South African birdlife.

    Found a mushroom yesterday.

    • Pickled Possum

       /  January 5, 2018

      what sort of mushroom trav? hope its not a Amanita Muscariaa one, 😉
      I once found a purple Amethyst Deceiver a delicate mushroom in the bush.
      Also a pink one I wanted to bring them out to show and tell but by the time I had horsed out they had shrivelled up to a little grey black ball. Happy days.

      • Just your ordinary field mushroom. Down at the farm. I’ll get hubby to take a photo.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 5, 2018

        I am delighted to have a bellbird in the garden.

        I saw two large nests brought down by the wind-we have escaped lightly, no real damage as far as I could see, just little branches down and one or two larger ones, as well as leaves and twigs. The nests didn’t look as if they had been used recently, thank goodness.

    • Gezza

       /  January 5, 2018

      Check. I already figured that one out. 👍🏼

  3. Patu. Just checking out new releases on Spotify and wondered does your boy like garage rock groups like The Vaccines?

    This is hot off the press. (Digitally speaking)

  4. Love put your records on…..

  5. phantom snowflake

     /  January 5, 2018

  6. Kitty Catkin

     /  January 5, 2018

    It wasn’t pleasant to keep being caught in the rain today as wind kept billowing out my raincoat, but the Waikato-from what I saw today, anyway-has not had too much of the storm. Rain and some wind, but few branches down. I pity whoever has to pick up all the little ones on the local walkway, what a tedious job.

    I do wish that I’d seen the umbrella canopy that was in the carpark of Pak & Save when it parted .company with its handle and sailed away. It makes a change from one turning inside out.