It's pushing it for a style blog to get "twitchy", but I have to tell someone - two regular visitors to the fuschia outside my bathroom window are a pair of hihi or stitchbirds. They caught my eye the other morning as I peered out looking for the source of the constant twittering. (Years ago, in another house, I ignored a similar sound, then discovered it was caused by a local cat ruthlessly decimating a nest of baby thrushes over the course of an afternoon.)
The pair I saw was banded like this one, so I knew it was special. Hihi are one of the country's rarest endangered birds.
They were back again just now, this time sucking upsidedown on either side of a cluster of native fushcia blooms, talking incessantly to one another.
I was outside, only about a metre away, but they ignored me (a feature that helped identify them, as they're know to be too tame for their own good). Torn between continuing to watch and wanting to fetch my camera, I stayed rooted to the spot until they moved on, still chattering.
The picture shows a male. The female, you won't be surprised to hear, is somewhat less showy - a drab olive.
So this was about style after all.
A sestina on housing
2 weeks ago