Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The lure of ripe figs


An abundance of figs, in varying shades of ripeness, have bought little grey warblers (riroriro) out of hiding. To feast among the branches of the beautifully shaped tree host, generously serving up beakfuls of the sweetest fruit. Lush and delectable. Along with the dear little warbler, comes the gregarious myna. Also in abundance. Raucous, bolshy. The yellow-masked forager. Sharing the bounty with fellow avian chums. But not quietly. Starlings arrive. Subtly speckled and sleek. A quick feed and then off. Fantails (Piwakawaka), never still, flit from limb to limb. Not, I think, eating figs. Rather, they seem attracted to the small flying insects gathering around the over-ripe fruit. A tui, visiting in the semi-dawn, is heard before the blind is raised. It is assumed to be revelling in a solo gastronomic experience. Blackbirds, resident in this garden, have no choice but to share the figs they have been patiently watching mature for the past few months. A pair of thrushes, fellow co-inhabitants at this address, manage the influx of avian brethren by enjoying the fruit that drops to the ground. No competitors at that level other than god's mistake, the wily wasp.

Photograph/Common Myna

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