Friday, 24 July 2009

Kereru from the lookout

At this time of year I like to visit the lookouts above the Whakatane township and photograph the big fat local woodpigeons that hang out there. I have only just today found out the names of these places from which says, "The Puketapu Lookout was once an ancient Maori fortification and it now provides superb views of the town, river, sea and offshore islands and the Rangitaiki Plains. The Papaka Redoubt is also the site of an ancient Maori fortification. Here the Armed Constabulary built a stronghold to protect the town after it had been raided by Te Kooti in 1869. Access to both these tracks is at the intersection of Seaview and Hillcrest Roads above the town centre."

At this time of the year when berries and other food sources are in short supply the woodpigeons favour the blossoms of tree lucerne, a number of which grow at the Lookouts. Or at least used to grow there. I was disapointed to discover a grove of large Tree Lucerne had been cut and the woody trunks left where they fell up at the Puketapu Lookout. A few of the trees remain growing further down the cliff and there was a Kereru feasting on the white flowers among these. And at the Papaka Redoubt there were few of the trees left also, most cut down when they built the new fence I suppose but I must say I am disapointed with the council.

After watching the Kereru absolutely stuffing themselves on the white flowers last year I have to admit I was convinced to try them myself but actually they were pretty tasteless and I can't say I'd reccomend them. Must be a pigeon thing.
The other morning while taking Billy the WonderDog for a walk I found these groovy looking little toadstools. I thought they made interesting photographic subjects but unlike the Tree Lucerne flowers I was NOT tempted to give these little babies a taste test!!!

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