Heidi Padain: Entertainment in your garden

The holiday season has been all about the young ones.

Martin and I can no longer sit at the table outside without remaining very alert. Bomber will literally come out of nowhere and dive bomb us. Often, this happens when we have the umbrella up. It’s a small gap for a large bird to get through. I honestly can’t figure out why this bird feels the need, given the ample air space around the umbrella. I don’t know how we have escaped injury. If we invite friends over for dinner, we warn them in advance that there’s a fair bit of having to duck, and sometimes drop down to avoid being hit.

Because Bomber’s parents are always close by, it feels as though we’re dodging three kereru, not one. The day Bomber entered our home, we finally reached the conclusion that the adults need to improve on their parental guidance skills.

Were it not for my husband, Martin, witnessing this, I would not be writing about it. It’s so bonkers, even I couldn’t make this up.

I was sitting on our couch, facing an open Ranchslider. I looked up just in time to see our infamous kereru flying right at me. I put my hands across my face, closed my eyes and ducked down a little. Within what seemed like a few minutes, I listened in anticipation for crashes and thumps. Nothing! Just a whirlwind whoosh as this crazy bird did a full rotation, and then left the same way it came in.

Not to be outdone on the unhinged scale, the tui has produced a juvenile with a voice box challenge. Martin and I kept hearing what we thought to be squeaky brakes. Our neighbours have an almost vertical driveway and until we actually witnessed this young tui making the sound, we thought our neighbours had taken to reversing down.

The biggest surprise over Christmas was when the song thrush won the territory battle in our pohutukawa tree. It’s delightful having a nest so close to the deck. I hope the fledglings are keeping an eye out for Bomber. Bomber’s latest trick is to land on top of our umbrella, slide down and make a perfect landing on the deck rail. Seriously, there’s never a dull moment in this garden. (HEIDI PADAIN)

To see some of Heidi’s other photographic work, go to c 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.

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