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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16 Comments

  1. High Flying Duck

     /  September 13, 2018

    There is something endlessly fascinating about these. This is one of the best I’ve seen – very clever.

    Reply
  2. High Flying Duck

     /  September 13, 2018

    Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  September 13, 2018

    It’s a grey, overcast day and although the bitingly cold southerly of the last week has now gone, it has been replaced by a strong, constant, blustering chilly Norwesterly which is making observing the pook nest thru binoculars a cold & unpleasant task, so it will be short stints only today.

    Bluey and Aspen, down working the stream, in different zones, dboth spotted me up at the fence zeroing in on the nest with the binoculars on the nest & both were below me within a couple of minutes. Bluey swam down from upstream and Aspen walked across it downstream, from the bank below the nest. They both then just walked up to me from differnt directions & silently looked up, and I fed them each some wheat.

    Aspen hopped the fence and got his a couple of feet behind me, where he was waiting, and Bluey just asked for his standing where he was.

    When I trained the binox back on the nest, I could see through the gaps in their camouflage that Jojo was squatting, relaxed, in the pooklet nest and Sweety was similarly disposed in the separate Guard Nest, 3 feet above and to the left of the baby’s bassinette. (Not to the right, as I said yesterday for some reason). I couldn’t see the pooklet at all, but it’s likely it was one of the several patchy black shadows.

    As I watched, Bluey came into view from the left – so he had smartly walked back along the bank after his brunch without my noticing. He touched beaks with Sweety in the watchhouse, then walk-climbed down into the nest below with Jojo where he started fussing about behind the foreground branches and leaves, and may have either been feeding the pooklet or attending to the daily bedding change.

    As the days pass, I know from watching their two previous pooklet nests below my place, there will be a rubbish heap of old bedding which will get bigger each day until they eventually make a new nest for the baby.

    Obs Completed: 1228 hours
    Sir Gerald
    🐧 AAA 🐧

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 13, 2018

      Addendum:

      It is likely that the reason the pooklet is being kept inactive & secluded at the moment is that there is a flock of 108 large black-backed gulls all plomped down, facing into the wind on the roof of the large building opposite, not far from the nest, and several more of them circling around calling above it.

      The pukekos always instantly shriek a particular alarm that sends the babies dashing into cover the minute these birds appear, as they are larger than the pukekos & will swoop down and take their babies.

      As a group all the pukekos will attack a black-backed gull or seagull which lands in the stream anywhere nearby, at any time, whether they have babies or not.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 13, 2018

        Go for it, pooks. Bloody cannibal gulls.

        There were more rosella parrots around yesterday. Blue/green/yellow/red (each bird all four colours)

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 13, 2018

          I was rather gut-wrenching to see them badly – I think maybe fatally – injure a very greyed, tired, old one that had landed, tired, and harmlessly on a small stony beach below the rapids, just before Winter and that was afterward unable to fly away. I think it died on the beach it had managed to crawl to afterward and was washed away two days later when the stream flooded in heavy rain. Just nature. But it saddened me.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  September 13, 2018

            It would me, but ‘nature red in tooth and claw’…the pooks can’t take the chance, I suppose.

            Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 13, 2018

          The rosellas sound pretty. I don’t get them or kakariki around here. Only once a gorgeous brown kaka.

          The girls have just been here – so they both got to share two handfuls of wheat grains. They both flew up onto the trellis, waiting for their toast bread, and flew down when I asked them if they wanted some. It was interesting watching Jojo who grabbed hers and ran over to the fence, and paced up and down, picking it up, putting it down, doing the pooklet feeding noise the whole time, wrestiing with her urge to eat it herself and her instinct to take it straight to the pooklet (it’s the pooklet’s bedtime – it will have been summoned to the nest by Bluey or Aspen by now).

          Sweety ate all hers on the lawn. She flew up onto the trellis to ask for more. In the meantime Jojo’s hunger had overcome her feeding instinct and she had bit by bit eaten all the last one I gave her.

          Both of them picked up the next chunk I threw down for each of them and ran straight up to the fence, flew up onto it, and jumped down the other side, taking it to the pooklet.

          Heading down to feed an eel or two before te news.

          1724 hours

          Reply
          • We get rosellas here sometimes, 2-6 at a time. Look nice, sound raucous.

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  September 13, 2018

            Ella was there, yay! Over the far side. Not moving an inch, but I can now quickly recognise her long, broad, paddle – or her face & front end – when they stick out, even if they’re unmoving, lurking in the shadows of overhanging stream bank and foliage.

            The wind’s howling down there, and bitter. I had to throw in one meat chunk (dead on target for a change) to get her to come out, and then it took 5 minutes of persuasion work to get her to come over to the next meat chunk in my feed spot. She glided up the rock over two pieces I dropped slightly off target behind her head, not realising they were there. But she got all the others. A couple she opened her mouth to chew before swallowing.

            The others were vacuumed in as soon as she touched them with her lips.

            The next second, as I reached down to drop another one in a couple of inches above her mouth – she was waiting and watching for it now – skinny little Eli slid right up alongside her, pushed sideways, in doing so – and took it ! I gave him the next one. He sucked it in on the surface with a loud, wet, “Plop!” sound.

            I hadn’t seen him arrive in the area – I was so focused on Big Ella. That was the last of the meat so I left them to it. From up top I could see them circling around the area, Eli occasionally sliding up and alongside canoodling with Ella, and the next minute her touching him on the paddle and him scooting off immediately, then repeating their strange little dance. They don’t attack each other.

            That is all. Thank you
            Sir Gerald
            Pookden Manor
            0800 hours

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  September 13, 2018

              Drat
              *1800 hours

              (Soz – watching 1ewes @ 6 at the same time as typing.)

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  September 13, 2018

            The rosellas are certainly colourful. It’s no use trying to take a photo, they move too fast. It’s always, always a surprise that they really ARE those colours.

            I loved the pink parrots called ‘Major Spencer’. We saw some at someone’s aviary and she said ‘Those are Major Spencers.’ I thought that it was “Major Spencers’ and that he was boarding them there.

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  September 13, 2018

            Unfortunately it took a few seconds to whip out my 3G phone and get the vidcam going, so I missed catching Eli sliding up between the rock and Ella, this was seconds after she’d moved aside out of view.

            Taken @ 1758 hours, in fading light

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 13, 2018

              He isn’t very gentle-eely, is he ? Can’t you tell him that it’s eeladies first ?

            • Gezza

               /  September 13, 2018

              I don’t think Ella’s too concerned. She’s been well-fed already. It’s not that clear from the video, because most of Ella’s size is in the centre of her body but if she decides he needs a short sharp lesson in manners & delivers it, he’ll skedaddle quick smart. No eel I’ve seen yet argues with Big Ella & gets away scot free if she gets her dander up.

              The two pieces of meat Ella missed that she never noticed had dropped behind her were washed off the rock by the underwater eddies her moving fins and body create. The current took them into the very deep water to the left of the eel feeding spot. Eli would have got those, then smelled the rest.

              Also, they all seem to become quickly aware of other eels in the water, even from 10 to 15 metres away. I’m not sure how. Perhaps they can detect their tiny electric field or something.

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