It was just us today, all on our lonesome at the Manawatu Caravan Club grounds at Foxton. Now we know how “Nigel No Mates” feels, friendless, and oh so lonely. There is a caravan club rally happening at these grounds, but it doesn’t start till Friday. We thought we would arrive a day early, and have a three day weekend away, just because we can. It sure beats working!
Arriving in time for lunch, we soon had the caravan set up, plugged into power, and the TV antenna pointing in the correct direction. After travelling just a short 28km, Muffy decided she needed a snooze to get over her jet lag and was soon fast asleep on the caravan settee. With no arrivals on the horizon after lunch, we took ourselves off a walk, around the camp grounds and a little further afield outside.
There was a bright blue pukeko busily feeding on the bank of an adjacent stream not far from the camp grounds. The strong red beak is used to pull at shoots, and to unearth corms. They also take chicks from the nest, and we have seen a group of them fighting over a poor little duckling as they each tried to tear the struggling baby from their neighbours beak – that was rather sad to witness.
Also foraging was a white-faced heron, creeping along the water’s edge with it’s long legs as it watched for any sign of prey. These birds have plenty of choice in their diet, eating small fish, crabs, worms, insects, spiders, tadpoles and frogs, and doesn’t say no to the occasional mouse. We always knew these birds (incorrectly) as grey herons, but our trusty bird book informed us they are white-faced herons.
There were several Mallard ducks enjoying the water too, bobbing about going head down in the water. They feed on tadpoles, water snails and aquatic insects as well as water plants. For such a small stretch of water, it was great to see so much bird life. All the different species were just quietly going about their business.
And walking back to camp, we were treated to yet another birdie display – a sparrow and a blackbird were having a fine old time splashing about in a puddle together on the side of the road.
Who needs friends when we have all this glorious bird life to admire? The two of us enjoyed a cuppa together, and soon after we looked out the window to see Gypsy Rover arriving, just in time for 4zees. Friends are here at last, we are Nigel No Mates no longer! And the rest of our caravan buddies should be arriving tomorrow.