Morning mountains and tui’s!

Summer is definitely here and we’ve had some beautiful calm sunny mornings this past week – early trips definitely reward with mountain views, calm waters and great bird life.  Swade took these photos the other day on a morning trip – the Southern Alps with Mount Cook and Tasman, and of course our favorites the Royal Spoonbills enjoying the early morning light.

Okarito Lagoon and the Southern Alps
Okarito Lagoon and the Southern Alps
Early morning light and royal spoonbills
Early morning light and royal spoonbills
Another of our favourites would have to be the Tui’s.  These birds are opportunistic feeders with nectar their main source of nourishment, although they do also eat insects.  They love the plentiful nectar that the native flax plant offers, and have been feasting here in Okarito.  You can see them nearly anywhere in the village and diving across the forest waterways on the lagoon.  Distinguishable by their puffy white throat feathers, they look nearly all black from a distance, but seen in the right light, actually have a beautiful green and blue/purple sheen to them.  Their songs are absolutely magical, with such a variety of calls and notes you would think you’re listening to a group of different birds.  They actually have two voice boxes and besides all the sounds you can hear, they make many sounds higher pitched than the human ear can distinguish.  Just a fabulous week for watching, photographing and listening to these unique birds!



Tui in song
Tui in song
Tui feeding on flowering flax
Tui feeding on flowering flax

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