Sunday, 31 July 2011
As I sat on the doorstep tying up my shoelaces, I caught sight of a bird (chaffinch I think) in our small plum tree. Obviously spring is on its way, with the promising appearance of blossom.
The top of the beach track - the track is closed for the most part because the encroachment of the sea on to the sand dunes has made it dangerous. A shame, as up until the last couple of years it has been a pleasant cliff-top walk
All thoughts of spring engendered by the blossom in our plum tree back home, were quickly dispelled by the sight of frost on the sand-dunes.
The frosted sand-dunes stretched all along St Kilda beach. In the sun it was very warm and there were a number of people out walking - one woman was even walking in barefeet. We are in that in-between state; between winter and spring, when anything can happen.
Some boys were sliding down these icey dunes, using body-boards as toboggans.
I notice the cliff-face feature dubbed as Lawyer's Head is developing a bulbous nose - the lawyer being outed as a brandy drinker?
Remains of last night's party on the beach? Must've been a mighty frosty celebration.
Kelp in the sun ...
... kelp in the shade.
I thought this log looked like a rhinoceros. (A sea-rhinoceros?)
Back home and a comfortable blackbird in our tree. We have a bird table that, so far, only a blackbird visits. Maybe it is this one. He's certainly acting like a local. And he's not about to announce his discovery of the bird-table.
Through this winter I have seen fantails, kereru, tui, bellbirds, chaffinches, grey warbler, wax-eyes ... Seagulls lope past, high and slow on their way to the ocean, or back from it. Sometimes I hear the strangely lonely sound of a passing oyster catcher overhead.
Soon the birds will be building nests. They know what season it is, even if the weather doesn't.
(This is a P.S. photo added in after publishing this post. It shows a kereru sitting in one of the trees around our place. The photo really doesn't do this bird's large size justice. I only had its back view so couldn't capture its resplendent white-aproned front).
Later, as I gathered in the washing I could feel the air beginning to freeze again - another frost on the way. Then I heard a familiar sound. The whip of wings in the still air as a large kereru (native wood pigeon) flew overhead to land in the branch of a tree. Portly birds, someone I know describes them as the Iroquois (as in helicopter) of the bird family.