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The Coromandel Peninsula is a bird-watchers paradise with many species inhabiting the vast bush clad mountain ranges and extensive coastline.
Until the arrival of man there were no rats, possums, cats or dogs so the primary predators were eagles, harriers and falcons. These hunters relied on swift flight and sharp eyes to locate their prey, so many native birds nested and fed close to the ground.
With so much danger from above, it was much safer to walk so many birds became flightless or nearly so. Drab colour or green plumage also meant birds wouldn't be as noticeable to eagle-eyed hunters.
The native bush surrounding Ferry Landing, near Hot water beach and Hahei is home to many beautiful bush and seabirds.
Thrush and Starlings build their nests every year in the Bougainvillea and Jasmine vines adorning the pergola. This offers a unique opportunity to follow the progress from newly laid eggs to young birds.
Usually 3 eggs are laid but its unusual if all 3 survive. The usual struggle for food sees the strongest fledgling win the day.
These same nests are used by the Shining Cuckoo who kicks out the Thrushes eggs, leaving their own eggs for the Thrush to incubate and rear.
Regular visitors to this bird-lovers paradise include the Tui, Keruru (Wood pigeon), Fantail, Gull, Pied Shag, Oyster Catcher, Kingfisher, Blue Heron, Wild duck, Parakeet, Gannet, Shining Cuckoo, Blackbird, Silvereye, Yellowhammer, Sparrow, Grey Warbler, Black-Backed Gull, Dotterrel, Californian Quail, Morepork, Pukeko and the occasional pheasant.
Many birds are attracted to our fruit trees, other seabirds have literally 'wandered' inside appearing completely relaxed. Some fly into the glass doors and survive, providing yet another opportunity to take photographs while they recover. With no cats or dogs close by, they seem to have no fear of us. A collection of photos is on our website.
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