Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Whilst perambulating about the yard...

...this morning, I came across a couple of Japanese White Eyes happily ensconced in the lehua haole under the shower tree, holding on tightly as the they whipped about in the breeze, and dipping their beaks into the red flowers. That is the first I have seen them doing so, only bees before.

On the way into the house I stopped to look at some rocks I planted in the gravel by the walk, and heard a couple small whacks. I looked up and saw a Red-vented Bulbul in the Manila palm, pulling the red skin off of the ripe nuts, throwing its head back and swallowing, then pecking for more.

My 'Hawaiian Birds' book says that the White Eyes are 'in a constant search for insects' and 'In rain forests, may compete for nectar with native honeycreepers....May hang upside down in search for food', which is just what these were doing.

The Red-vented Bulbuls are 'largely fruit eaters, although may take insects and nectar."

All this brings to mind driving home from the stadium swap meet on Sunday, to find a Golden Plover in the grass by the mailbox. I stopped to watch and it headed up the driveway so I followed dutifully to the parking pad while it ran and stopped, ran and stopped, all about the front yard, around the little Desert Rose and around the perimeter of the shower tree before dipping out of sight into the lehua haole. It was looking for bugs, I suppose, as I expect there are few crustaceans in the lawn.

This was another first for me. I saw another up the street several weeks ago, but the first in our yard. The plover are quite beautiful this time of year, still slender and in their winter plumage, as opposed to the equally lovely breeding plumage which they will grow while porking up before heading back to Alaska in April or May.