Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bush book Available Now.

One of my summer photography projects was to complete a modest photo book, illustrating a few of the 'rich variety of species to be found in North Shore bush reserves'.

Many of these images were taken on Discovery Walks with Margi Keys. My thanks to Margi for checking my text on more than one occasion.

By clicking on this book link you will be able to view prices and ordering details.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A tale of two eels.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had been watching a kingfishers nest on a stream in a bush reserve on the North Shore. While patiently waiting and watching for the parents to approach the nest, which was in a hole in the bank on the far side of the stream, I noticed something moving in the water.

Gradually I could make out the shape of a long dark eel approximately 1 metre long. This eel continually patrolled below the nest site, swimming up and down stream just below the surface which was also below the noise of the chirping young in their nest.
On a my next visit I watched the kingfisher adults visiting the nest and the eel once more patrolling up and down stream as I had observed before.

It was a few days after Cyclone Wilma, when I made my next visit. I could sense that all was not well, no chirping from the nest and no sight or sound of adult kingfisher along the stream.

Unfortunately the flood of water that had raced down the stream from heavy rainfall, had flooded the nest. I could see plastic rubbish lodged in branches some two metres above the usual stream height. The nest was less than a metre above the waters surface. So no chirping from any young, anymore.

I did see a large dark eel again but it no longer patrolled up and down below the nest but seemed to have a more random route.
After watching for some time I saw another smaller eel, light olive-green in colour, searching below the surface on my side of the stream. This is the eel in the photo above. I saw no kingfisher on this visit.


One of these Asian paper wasps stung me today as I backed up to our little puka tree while cutting a hedge in the garden.

My first thought was that puka trees do not have thorns but as I looked over my shoulder I could see the mushroom shaped nest with busy occupants, attached to the underside of a puka leaf.

The sting was like a being stabbed by a small needle in my back but fortunately it was only one of the wasps that I had antagonised.