Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Avian cheer / Bucky O'Hare / A cache of silvereyes

Avian cheer

I was in a bit of a grump on Saturday so I lit out for the territory Karori sanctuary to take photos of birds. I managed to catch decent shots of two birds that are notoriously hard to photograph due to their constant flitting about.

Popokatea / Whitehead
Riroriro / Grey Warbler
Even though that's the best photo I've probably ever taken of a warbler, it doesn't do the tiny bird justice. It's a wee gem in the flesh, despite its muted colours. A marvel made more precious because it is so oftenheard  but rarely seen.

As for the popokatea, there were about a dozen in the bushes around me at one point, behaving much as a [insert appropriate collective noun] of silvereyes might.

It was almost as if the birds wanted to cheer me up.

A female juvenile male hihi, which tend to be much shyer than the males, landed on a branch less than a metre away from me and stuck around for a good long moment.

Female Junvenile male Hihi / Stitchbird
And as I was walking back to the entrance, sufficiently cheered, the shags were splashing about in the lake, possibly to rise off the salt after a day on the coast.

Karuhiruhi / Pied shag
NB: NZbirds has an extensive list of collective nouns for birds but nothing for the Silvereye.

Does anyone remember Bucky O'Hare?

Sometimes the phrase 'righteous indignation' pops into my head. It's a nice sesquipedalian phrase. And when this phrase rattles through the deserted chambers of my mind, I don't think of justified outrage, I think of a spaceship in an anthropomorphic cartoon from the 1990's. I'd forgotten everything about the show except the name of the ship and that it featured a rabbit (or hare). 

But who needs memory when you've got the internet?

The show was called 'Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Menace'. Here's the intro courtesy of YouTube.

The theme tune features the lyrics:

"If your Righteous Indignation has suffered a hit
And your photon accelerator is broken a bit
And you're losing your mind and you're havin' a fit
Get the funky fresh rabbit who can take care of it!"

Gold. Pure, nineties Gold.

Possible collective nouns for silvereyes

A cache of silvereyes
A flirt of silvereyes (suggested by Claire Browning)
A flit of silvereyes
A galore of silvereyes
A gust of silvereyes (it is thought that the NZ population was established when a migrating flock in Australia was caught in a storm and blown here c.1856)
A lode of silvereyes
A lustre of silvereyes
A mint of silvereyes
A party of strangers (the Maori name, Tauhou, means 'stranger')
A profit of silvereyes
A purse of silvereyes
A scratch of silvereyes
A suite of silvereyes
A treasure of silvereyes
A treasury of silvereyes
A trove of silvereyes
A vault of silvereyes
A vein of silvereyes
A wealth of silvereyes


Pip said...

Nice pictures! I wonder if the Hihi's a juvenile male though. You can see what looks like his adult plumage starting to come in - the black feathers appearing on his chest and the yellow starting to appear on his wings. I'm trying to remember how long it took for the adult plumage to come in. I'd have thought it might be a little late in the season but perhaps ....

Only way to tell for sure is if he opens his beak and lets out a very male stitch!

Craig Cliff said...

Ah, you're probably right there, Pip. that would explain "his" comparative gregariousness.

Anonymous said...

A spectacle of silvereyes?

Craig Cliff said...

I like it. I might have to work out how to stick a poll up on the blog so we can all vote...

Any more suggestions?

Claire G said...

It would be a shame to have to choose between some of the wonderful entries on your list, though.

I envy you Wellingtonians for having the Karori Sanctuary so close. Here in the Lesser Auk we have something just as wonderful but have to pay twice as much to go there on a ferry. I hope the sanctuary survives.

Meanwhile, I'm lucky enough to be able to see lots of silvereyes and the occasional grey warbler in the laden crabapple trees outside my office window. Can't get over those warblers, weighing just 6.5g and singing with every bit of their bodies.