Sitting on my back doorstep, admiring the work I've done in the garden. The fence looks good, with its patched, recycled chicken wire. The Manuka fence poles look nicely 'organic' as none of them are perfectly straight. It should keep the chooks out though.
I can hear a variety of bird-life in the valley as I sip my coffee. In NZ the sound of birdsong is almost always around us but we forget to hear it sometimes. I can hear the song of a bellbird in the near distance, maybe a few hundred yards away, standing out from the other chirps and twitters. I start to imitate his song, note for note. He answers with his echo, once, and then, as I continue to mimic his original four-note composition, he swoops toward the sound to check it out. First he perches in the beech tree 30 feet away. I whistle again bringing him nearer into the poplar tree just across the creek. I sing his song one more time and his curiosity takes over. He leaps and glides effortlessly to the branch of the Kowhai tree just a couple of feet from my camera lens.
After a minute he tires of eyeballing me (I'm not the 'bellbird' he was hoping for) and zips off to see what he can find to eat under the bark of the Manuka tree by the river.
We'll meet again Korimako...