Today is the spring equinox. That means the days are drawing out and summer is coming. We are preparing Twin Waters Lodge for re-opening in late October. The kowhais are in flower and the Tuis and bellbirds are having a great time. A particularly brightly coloured bellbird was on one of the Kowhais in the courtyard yesterday. The male is more brightly coloured then the female, and it is possible the colours may be more intense during mating season. The past few days have been fine and clear, marking the end of a long, wet winter. Today we are thinking about gardens and beaches.
Since I last wrote, we have acquired a boxer puppy we have named Flynn. He loves going for walks on the beach and provides us the impetus to get out there when we otherwise might not. Today on the beach were two seals. He thought they were some kind of other strange dog and wanted to follow them out to sea when they swam away.
A couple of weeks ago, in a field near the Aorere Bridge, we saw about a dozen white heron-like birds. They looked like smaller versions of the native white heron, the Kotuku, but obviously were not, as the Kotuku is a solitary bird, and while a number of them live locally, there is nothing like that number. What we saw were almost certainly the cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis, which is an itinerant visitor from the East Coast of Australia, usually during winter.