All quiet on the southern front
As winter rolls on, birding has been quiet on Stewart Island. Probably the most interesting thing has been a Weka family hanging around our back garden. The male has been a regular visitor to our garden for a few years and he is now with his third female (that we know about). Early in July the pair showed up in the garden with a newly hatched chick. What a tough species this is, proving that they can breed at any time of year. One of last year's chicks came into the garden while Dad was feeding the youngster and all hell broke loose as Mum and Dad chased the "intruder" off their territory.
We reckon the adult male has been responsible for at least a dozen chicks as we usually see three chicks in each brood, and sometimes more than two broods a year.
Winter doesn't offer much in the way of guiding on Ulva Island, pelagics or kiwi spotting so I've been spending time at a desk - not my natural habitat - working on a couple of projects. Hopefully they come to fruition later this year or early next. Can't say too much, except watch this space!
While my feet were firmly planted under the desk I took the opportunity to work on some photos and have entered a couple of photographic competitions but I'm not counting my chickens ...
I haven't had my camera out very much this winter but a few weeks ago I took a wander down to Little River which is near the entrance to Rakiura National Park. Sadly a two and a half metre Pilot Whale stranded there and unfortunately the Department of Conservation had to euthanise it.
As spring starts to peep its head around the corner our tree fuschia in the garden is showing signs of buds. Tui, Bellbird and Grey Warbler seem to be singing more and most evenings we've been hearing kiwi call not too far from our house.