Another “must visit” on this trip to Wellington was the Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre. They are very well known for their captive breeding efforts of rare and endangered birds, and my particular interest was the Campbell Island Teal – a small flightless duck that had become extinct on Campbell Island, but which survived on an off-shore island. When I was at Campbell Island in about 1990 Department of Conservation (DOC) sent a team down to go to Dent Island to capture some of these teal to bring them to Mount Bruce to breed in captivity prior to the massive effort to remove the rats from Campbell Island, after which the Teal would be returned. This was all remarkably successful – rats gone, teal bred and over 150 of them were returned to Campbell Island. I had been hoping that some remained at Mount Bruce, but alas they had all been returned to Campbell Island some years ago, so we didn’t get a chance to see them, but we did get a chance to see other birds – some like the Takahe and Kaka we’d seen at Zealandia the previous day, others like the Kakariki, and the Kiwi we hadn’t seen yet.

A couple of particular highlights – the Kiwi egg in the incubator that we could see where the chick inside was pipping away at the shell ready to break out, and also seeing the very rare white Kiwi Manukura running around in the darkened enclosure foraging for food. Since the Kiwis are nocturnal, they are very hard to see in the dim light available in the enclosure, but we did get to see the pair of them.

And a great visit with Marlene – Marlene and I were at school together from 1962 when we were both 7 year old founding pupils at Fernlea School in Wainuiomata, through to the end of 1971 when she finished her 6th Form year and went off to journalism school – 45½ years ago –  we hadn’t seen each other since until this day.

 

Lisa noticed this on the outside of one of our UPSTAIRS!! windows this evening. The very cunning frog was hanging out (well was “sticking” out) on the window pane, ambushing bugs attracted to the light inside the window!!!

The Underside of a Gray Tree Frog

The Underside of a Gray Tree Frog

Excuse the apparently dirty window. (click any thumbnail to open a slideshow)

A photo gallery of some other shots from both inside and outside follows: Continue reading »

 

While watering the garden at the back of the house this morning something caught my eye…

The Milk Weed by the back porch

The Milk Weed by the back porch

In case it’s not obvious in this picture what I saw, here it is again…

The Milk Weed by the back porch

The Milk Weed by the back porch

And a much closer view reveals…

Amazing!!!!!

Amazing!!!!!

A gallery is below.

Continue reading »

 

Visitors seen around the yard today include the habitual doe and her 2 bambis, and some “bugs” on the milkweed plants beside the back porch.

 

I looked out the kitchen window this morning and “spotted” this scene.

Bambi and Mum

You Just Know that she's saying to the young'un - come back here in a few months and there'll be tomatoes, pumpkins and all sorts of yummy things!!

another “bambi” was off to the left. They left before I could get another photo.

 

A few weeks ago I posted a couple of photos of the wrens who were getting ready to move into the Wren House hanging in a tree beside our garage.

Well they did move in, and while we were away, the produced at least 3 chicks. I took a few pictures of them being fed today – Yum!!!!!!

Two Hungry Mouths

Two gaping mouths sticking out through the hole looking for lunch

Who Gets What?

Trying to decide who gets the insect and who gets the caterpillar.

A photogallery is below…

Continue reading »

 

Our neighbour gave me a wren house for Christmas 2 years ago. I hung it in a cherry tree right by our garage last spring and a wren moved in and we got wren babies.

Last Christmas the neighbours gave me another wren house which I hung on the porch, and this spring there is at least 1 pair of wrens singing up a song around the garage again. These 2 pictures are of one in the house in the cherry tree.

Just Peeking Out

Taken through the foliage of a cherry tree right by our garage. A very songful wren is sitting in the wren house peeking out at me.

Still Peeking Out

From a slightly different angle. No blurry branch in the way, but a couple of blurry leaves right in foreground.

Luckily the power of the 12x zoom on my Canon PowerShot S2 IS lets me get these photos from some distance away. They are the full frame of the image.

 

We live in farming country, with our property almost bordering a very large field/paddock. (See http://lisaandroger.com/2009/05/our-farming-neighbours/).

Today as I went by I noticed a flock of large white birds circling over the corn field – turns out they were swans.

Birds on a Pond

A large number of waterbirds on a pond in a corn field near our house.

shows a shot of the nearest pond, with Mallard ducks, Canada geese and the white swans. I’m not sure if they are Tundra Swans or Mute Swans – both are indicated as being present in Michigan.

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