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I've always, always been an avid Twitcher, Even as a kid I can recall sitting at my Mum's kitchen window watching the common garden birds swoop in to fill themselves on old crusts of bread and cake.
But, today I photographed a gorgeous native Tui drinking from a homemade feeder that I'd cobbled together with yellow electrical tape. It worked like a treat and it was incredible to watch.
These beautiful timid birds with their glorious and unusual call are one of New Zealand's icons and can be found near flowers rich with nectar or animated onto most Kiwiana t-towels or oven gloves. Today though, I captured my own with my trusty Canon 80D and I couldn't be more thrilled.
There are lots of examples on YouTube about how to make your own homemade Tui feeder. Check it out, they'll really appreciate it over the coming Winter months.
Main points to remember are:
- Make the container bright red or yellow to attract the Tui's eye
- Fix the container securely somewhere away from neighbourhood preditors.
- Sugar water mix is roughly 3 tablespoons of sugar (brown sugar is best) to 500ml of boiling water. If you have Rose Water, a tablespoon in the mixture doesn't go amiss.
- Make sure the mixture is cooled before using
- Wait and enjoy
This week I travelled to the West Coast, Auckland and to Muriwai Beach with my good friend Janet.
The West Coast; as some will know, is far more rugged than the Eastern side. Crashing waves, sand dunes and of course the volcanic black sand. The swell can be pretty wild and awesome on most days, so its attracts loads of surfers even on a week day. I highly recommend it if you're in Auckland and like to see an example of wild coast NZ.
The reason I headed to Muriwai though was to witness the start of the Gannet season. Each year thousands of Gannets congregate on the high cliffs at Muriwai to have chicks. Its a definite sight to behold, if you can stick the smell that is (think rotting fish).
Unfortunately, I was a little too early to see any of the chicks, but there were plenty of adults there starting to build nests (or mud mounds anyway).