Monday, August 2, 2010

Spring Fever. Countdown to conference.

Spring is starting to make its presence felt. The early magnolias an Rhodos are bursting their buds. Vulcan that gorgeous magenta magnolia has its huge chalice style flowers right open. In another week it will be in full bloom.
It's warmer at night and the birds are starting their spring chorus. I lay in bed listening to the birds this morning. They've begun singing in greater numbers everyday which means spring and the mating season is truly on the horizon,

I am so delighted to hear bellbirds visiting my town garden. when we lived in the country near tracts of bush they were a common visitor. I've had a pair visiting my Banksia "Golden Candles" every day for the past week. Although much smaller that the tuis they put up a creditable fight against the bigger and far more aggressive birds.

I plant my garden to attract the birds and when the rare ones visit it gives me such a thrill. Over the winter we've also had a pair of Keruru, our native wood pigeon, visiting the Idesia podocarpa tree and feasting on the berries.

We've also been putting out sugar water and cutting up windfall oranges for the smaller birds and we have waxeyes visiting in huge numbers. For their size they are very aggressive little critters. There are also large numbers of other birds, yesterday I saw greenfinches, chaffinches, ringneck doves, and the much shyer lace neck doves and of course the ubiquitous sparrows are back inegions. They seem to have shrugged of whatever virus was killing them in great numbers a few years back. This winter we haven't had the yellowhammers visiting. Last year we has several regulars.

As I was working in the garden yesterday blackbirds and thrushes were barely a spade's length away waiting hopefully for me to uncover a juicy worm for them. One bird a blackbird has been a regular for years now.

It's the 2nd of August so that means 17 days to Conference. Can't wait! The only worry is negotiating down town Auckland to find Rydges Hotel. Oh well I'll google a map!  
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