Monday, 4 May 2009

About a reptile, a rodent and a range of birds

Troy and I had Friday off and we spent the day at home catching up on jobs. It was lovely and sunny and the skink was back in the carport. Troy got this great shot of him. He really likes hanging out in our shoes!

I was hanging out the washing when I saw Billy the wonderdog sniffing around in the garden. All of a sudden he went into "hunt" mode, his tail stuck straight up and his body was stiff. He was staring into the greenery behind the carport. I thought he may have sniffed out a mouse so I told him to "get dat mouse boy!" All of a sudden he lunged in and came up with a HUGE rat in his mouth!!! Aaaargghhh!!!! He shook it and the rat turned and sunk its teeth into Bills cheek. The poor dog spat out the rat but it was still hanging off his face. The rat was squealing, I was squealing.....After violently shaking his head a number of times the rat let go and tried to make its escape. Bill jumped on it again and finally killed it. I made a fuss of him and gave him two big bones as a reward. He was bleeding a little from a bite mark on his muzzle but he soon forgot his injury after he got his bones! So check out these nasty teeth.

I have been waiting for the return of the Kotuku at the Apanui saltmarsh recently and I thought I had spotted him there last week. But I only saw him flying over into the reeds and when I later checked the photos I wasn't convinced it was the white heron. Instead I think it was the egret whom I have seen feeding at the Awatapu lagoon lately. But I did take some shots of the spoonbills. A pair was circling over head, spooked into the air by a harrier, and I took this photo as they began their descent. They very suddenly half fold in their wings and almost tumble to the ground in a spectacular fashion before regaining composure just before landing. Goofy birds but very interesting to watch.

On Sunday I went for a walk along Thornton beach. There was some spectacular breakers rolling in from way out in the ocean. There was a divine golden sunset and I photographed a couple of stilts in the orange light.

Today Troy had to work late so I was lucky enough to watch the sun set over my favourite spot on the river. It was a still evening and the starlings were flying in large flocks over the saltmarsh before retiring to their roosts. I can't help but think how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful place!

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