Saturday, November 06, 2010

Water Birds

The other day I posted about some 'urban birds'- but now it is time for the 'real thing'!

This morning I went up Kahuterawa Rd for a walk with my friend Sue. It was my first time up there since breaking my arm: you needed to walk close to/on the road and I seemed to lack confidence about that, so it was great to have company. Down in some of the gullies we saw a few pukeko, which are rather shy birds, and tend to disappear when humans appear. Here is one hiding in the rushes- and we know it had a chick not far away.

When I left Sue's I was keen to return to the Lagoon to see how the various springtime young ones had been growing. I guess all the Lagoon birds get used to humans wandering quite close by: I found another 'nest' with some coots in it, only a few metres from the water's edge.

I think these young ones might be the same ones I saw two weeks ago, swimming with their parents who were actively feeding them. But they now seem to have lost the curious red/yellow markings on their heads, and seem to be foraging a little for themselves.

Last time I was here, I was almost falling over the many small cute ducklings. There weren't quite so many small ones this time, but I have to include at least one photo with some cute little ducklings!

Down at the Lagoon today I also saw these Canadian Geese, and for the first time I saw them with some goslings. They look very elegant here- but they are 'introduced' and have been causing some ecological 'issues', largely for farmers.

Well, time to go, and it does indeed seem like I have been posting at a record rate lately - making up for sparse posting during broken-arm-recovery then exam-swotting! I am sure it will all settle down soon....


  1. Maalie... do I detect a slight saarcasm there from the ornithologist???!!

  2. Just from memory, aren't Canadian geese grain eaters and migrate from the northern hemisphere to the southern?

  3. I live in a Northern Canada with hundreds of thousands of Canadian geese! They eat grass, roots, leaves here but in the western prairies, they do eat grain. Most of them fly to southern US and Mexico when it gets close to freezing and return in the spring to breed. Never have heard of them in New Zealand, although we did give some to Queen Victoria at one time. Is New Zealand another lucky recipient?

  4. Andrew, as far as I know, our's don't migrate back to Canada- jut from place to place within NZ. Lynne, they were introduced here in the early 1900s as game birds. I know some farmers here don't like them, as they can swoop in and eat an awful lot of grass that the farmers would rather have eaten by their livestock. I also read in a book that sheep and cattle seem reluctant to graze where the geese have been feeding. A shame they have become so unpopular in farming circles, as they look quite spectacular!

  5. Lynne is right there are literally hundreds of thousands of them in North America and many people find them to be quite a nuisance. I love to hear them fly over the house in Spring and Fall early in the morning and at sundown and during migration you can actually hear them at night. They can wreak havoc in parks and golf courses as they leave their cigar shaped excrement everywhere. In Toronto there are several thousand that don't even bother to migrate down south but stay in the parks along Lake Ontario.

  6. yep simon...our's is actually an import from across the Tasman, maybe about 1000 years ago. We have another much rarer bird, the takahe, that is probably also descended from your swamp hen, but a few million years ago...

  7. Hi there! Happy to be your 20th follower - glad that you popped around to my blog as well. I'm probably going to have a few questions for you before I tackle my own camino!

    Love your photographs!

  8. emilene, when I read your blog I was struck by how much you enjoy noticing the details of nature when you walk. For me, that was something I just loved doing the Camino....