Entertainment in your Garden

I have had a large number of the silvereye/waxeye birds visiting of late says Bird Lover, Heidi Padain.

They're entertaining to watch, but if I'm busy and not paying attention, I can still hear them. When there are a large number of these birds the sound is incredible.

I can hear them calling out to one another or protesting when they don't get their turn at the piece of fruit I have put out on the deck. Mostly it sounds as though they are squealing in delight. It's like living close to a children's playground.

I recently noticed a kingfisher that was regularly visiting. This bird has a couple of favourite hunting spots. A power line at the front of our property and a specific branch on our manuka tree that is right alongside the deck. The kingfisher arrives around the same time a couple of times a day, usually just after sunrise or at dusk. What I hadn't realised, was that the kingfisher was attracted to the sound of the waxeyes. I always assumed that the kingfisher was busily hunting skinks, large insects and mice. Imagine my surprise when the kingfisher swooped down, grabbed a waxeye bird and took off with it.

I'm rather fond of birds so I felt a mixture of horror and fascination having observed this. I was torn; kingfishers are beautiful too. I was aware that our native owl the morepork/ruru hunted small birds, but I had no idea that the kingfisher did this as well.

On a happier note, these two spotted doves seemed to have made themselves right at home on our deck. They are here throughout the day. They’re always together, snuggled up and smooching. They’re ridiculously romantic and certainly help to brighten up these winter days.

At this time of the year, given how short the days are, we're unlikely to spend as much time observing bird life. That said, it is certainly worth taking a peek outside to see what’s going on during the twilight hours. You never know what you might discover. (HEIDI PADAIN)

To see some of Heidi’s other photographic work, go to www.flickr.com and type Heidi Padain into the search box, or, you can contact Heidi by email hidihi@xtra.co.nz, or look her up on Facebook... Heidi Padain Photography.