Sunday, June 8, 2008

Wood Pigeon Sighting

We were in Ngaio Gorge, hiking in Trelissick Park and we were coming down a hill and ran smack-dab into this:

Wood Pigeon, standing improbably on a thin branch.

It's a Kererū, an indigenous wood pigeon and a big, big boy. You'll notice what looks like an ordinary city pigeon head attached to an enormous body. That's what it looks like. In the above picture he looks a bit like a pigeon body-builder in a white tank top.

We took another handful of pictures and this one turned out to be a nice side view where you can see a little of the coloration. We were in shadow in late afternoon and the colors are a bit washed out.

It's hard to get a sense of scale, but it's big. Like a small turkey in a tree. We were standing there agog while people passed us on the track: first a woman with a brown dog who paused when she saw us gathered in a little arc looking silently and reverently up at it who affirmed Joanne's question of "Is it a wood pigeon?" with just a nodding "kereru..." and then marched on past it without another look. Right about then two others came tramping up the hill from the other direction and just sort of trudged on past without even stopping.

I guess it'd be kind of like coming up on a group in Muir Woods watching a squirrel in amazement and reassuring them that yes, indeed that's a squirrel. How very nice for you all, now please stand aside so I can continue my walk here on planet earth.

But that's fine. We were impressed and delighted by our first up-close encounter with this other-worldly body-builder pigeon in its natural environs on our hike through Ngaio Gorge and it was extremely satisfying.

Other Fun Sunday Festivities

And finally, a slideshow of our Sunday activities in and around Wellington. These involved checking out the Storylines Family Day, a "sausage sizzle" as Haley referred to it in our backyard with home-made lemonade with lemons from our tree and the hike along Kaiwharawhara stream.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Looks like a lovely Sunday with the family. Miss you, so.