Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kapiti Island Bird Sanctuary - sneak peek

weka at visitor centre

weka interupts intoYesterday, I got up at 6 am, got myself to the train station, attempted to call Paraparumu to confirm I could get passage to Kapiti Island, gave up, got myself on the commuter train headed to Paraparaumu. (You gotta pronounce each vowel Pa-ra-pa-ra-u-mu, or talk like the Pakeha, the non-Maori, and say Para'm). The train stopped at Paekakariki and the conductor explained we would have to get out and onto the bus. When I got off the bus at Paraparaumu, I had no idea how to find the ferry, so I got in a cab, found I was early and took the cabbie's advice about coffee. Got myself a latte at a nice café with a nice barrista and his cat, who hilariously sat next to me, as if he was in line for a coffee (the cat, that is). Got on the ferry (after our bags were searched for stray rodents) for the 15 ride to the Island, and sat with the others to hear the Department of Conservation introduction to the Island. While our guide was telling us about the history of the Island, the erradication of any predators, the birds who live there, this cheeky weka started circling us. Undoubtedly, the weka, or woodhen, was thinking of his belly and knows tourists are easy marks. Check out the link, where it reads, "Weka can be both inquisitive and pugnacious". Later, one tried to break into my backpack in search of trail mix. Apparently they'll theive anything, drag it into the woods and then check to see if it's edible.

kereru at visitor centre
Before her talk had ended we had a kereru, a New Zealand pidgeon above us.

It was a great experience, by my calves are no longer on speaking terms with my brain. Messages sent via the nervous system started calmly with, "You know, just because you can climb mountains every couple of days, doesn't mean you should," and "What's with the inappropriate footware?" and degenerated to "Ow. #@%? you brain. Bad idea. Ow. Ow. Ouch." So, I'm going to take it easy today. But my plans have changed again. I got a text message saying we now leave for Taupo at 8 am tomorrow, so I have to deal with that and get some much-needed coffee.

More birds later. Impatient people are welcome to check out my flickr stream. Just click the weka.

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