Saturday, 6 October 2007


I can't believe its been so long since my last blog! I have been so incredibly busy organising the BIRDSaPLENTY Exhibition that I've hardly had a minute to spare. I went over to Opotiki on Tuesday to set up and it took about 7 of us from 11 til 4 to get done. But I was SO STOKED when we finished. It looked awesome!

I stayed at Mum and Dads on Wednesday night and got up at six to see if I could catch up with the Kaka at the old Opotiki hospital as I'd had a tip off from Liane at the two fish cafe that they were hanging out there in the mornings. I got there as the sun was coming up and contrary to the weather forecast it was a clear-as day. A bit frosty but the sky was orange and glowing. I didn't want to appear suspicious so I walked purposefully from one entrance along the road to the other entrance. It was a spooky place, more like a haunted asylum than a hospital. It has been abandoned for a few years now and all the windows have fallen victim to vandals and had been smashed. There were a number of Kowhai along the road frontage and I'd seen some photos of them feeding in kowhai in the Opotiki area so thats where I expected to see them if at all. Liane had said I would hear them before I saw them but in the cold stillness of the morning if occurred to me that I really didn't know what noise they made. But I was reasonably confident I'd know if I heard it for some reason.

I was told to expect them at 6:30 - 7am but by 7 I still hadn't seen them. Lots of birdsong, thrushes,blackbirds, magpies etc. There were houses next to the hospital grounds and lots of NO TRESSPASSING signs. After walking to and fro and to and fro I was almost thinking of giving up when I saw a dark shape in a kowhai. A Kaka! I slipped through a hole in the hedge and started getting photos, difficult as it was still quite dark.There were two of them and what amazing birds! In typical parrot fashion they used their feet like hands and chattered away to each other as they fed. I thought they may have been eating the kowhai seeds but it was the flowers they were most interested in. One flew off and the other screamed and chattered away and in the end I counted six in total. I followed them to a ponga where I witnessed one swinging around and around on a branch going upside down and at one stage hanging from his beak only. These would truly have to be the monkeys of the bird world. I got a couple of good shots before they flew close to a house and when I followed a dog about four inches high came out to bark at me. (It had a six foot bark!) I stooped down and called the dog over where I patted his tummy for a bit. When I thought I'd placated him I stood up to follow the Kaka and he barked louder than ever! The birds and I both left, me to go home for coffee and them... who knows. But I"d got a couple of really good shots!
Well its been a busy week and I really want to tell you all about our exhibition which was really cool but I just can't keep my eyes open any longer. I'll do it tomorrow I promise.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blogsite Mandy. Your painting and photography is really lovely. You are so lucky to be close to Wingspan and see the falcons so close.
Keep up the good work.