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Jack Tame: The tui are back for spring

Jack Tame,
Publish Date
Sat, 26 Aug 2023, 9:31AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Jack Tame: The tui are back for spring

Jack Tame,
Publish Date
Sat, 26 Aug 2023, 9:31AM

I had this amazing little moment one afternoon this week, when for the first time this winter... I threw open the doors of my deck, sprawled out on the couch nearby, and basked in the sunshine as it spilled through onto my face and neck. 

Isn’t it amazing what a difference a few days of sunshine can make? 

My God. 

I know that there are parts of the country that have had it a whole lot sunnier than Auckland these last few months but I cannot recall a winter in my part of the World that has felt so wet and so grim. 

The sunshine brought with it the first blossom of Spring. 

I’ve got a Taiwan cherry tree in my backyard, and it’s been heavy with red and pink flowers. 

And as much as I love the blossom, the tūi loved them more. 

They’re always darting in and out at my place, hopping between branches of the different trees, calling out to their mates before hustling off for the next feed. 

And tūi really do hustle, don’t you think? They don’t really glide as such. And even when they’re parked up, they always seem have a bit of a boisterous temperament. 

Tūi are so beautiful. I love how understated and yet sophisticated their colours are, the black and green, and bronze, with that extraordinary irredescent shimmer, as though every feather has been lightly glazed. Tūi almost twinkle. 

Some of the tūi who turn up at my place are perfectly turned out. Some have that slightly shabby appearance, as though they’ve gone to sleep with wet hair and forgot to check the mirror in the morning. 

I’ve never heard them sing so much in my backyard as they have been these last few days. There was barely an instance when I looked up at that cherry tree and didn’t see a tūi drinking in the blossom, and calling out to his or her tūi mates. 

Is this middle age? I dunno. But I’m at the age and stage where I get it. I get it. I get the native birds thing in a really big way. Lying on the couch in the sunshine, watching the tūi drink and sing out to the neighbourhood just made me feel so content. 

‘What can I do to steal a few more of these moments?’ I wondered. 

I can’t do anything about the weather. I can’t compel the sun to shine. 

I picked up my phone and googled three words. Predator. Free. NZ. 

My brand new rat trap arrived the next morning. 

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