The Wing-Friends and Other Books

In Blogger's slideshows images are greatly reduced, so lose much of their impact. And captions added to them in Picasa Albums vanish, so the images shown above are: the Milky Way, the Orion Nebula, Earth, Earth with New Zealand circled, New Zealand, Auckland & the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island, some native NZ forest, a Fantail and chicks, various doves, etc.

(If you want to see the first ten images in their original size, they are in a posting made on the 24th of November 2011.)

My book The Wing-Friends is an imaginative tale of a small brave boy, a magical adventure, a magnificent Pegasus and the wonderful Kingdom of the Pegasi. It has been given very good reviews, and virtually every reader on Goodreads has so far awarded it five stars. It is available here. Some of my other writings are available as e-books, such as The Lower Deck, which is an over-the-top take on Waiheke happenings--sort of.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


On Monday the 4th of March, to my surprise, because it is late summer, a new chick appeared at breakfast-time. It must have fallen from the nest or fluttered down, because as you can see from the photos taken that morning its fledging is far from complete. Under its wings there are no feathers, only pink skin, and its tail is just a little stump. There was a little thump on the roof during the night then some small footsteps--probably that bird.

So like the last one it has to spend the nights on the ground, and like the other one it chose to creep under the building. (The earlier one took about ten days to overcome its fear of flying and be going up into the trees to roost at night.)

The latest one ran about wailing and flapping its wings at every other bird in an effort to be fed. It must have found its parents because it settled down, and a few days later it is obviously growing.

On Wednesday it was even making some attempt to peck up food from the ground, so it is learning to feed itself very fast. At first it was managing only microscopic bits of rolled oats, but on Thursday it was getting full-size flakes--wailing all the time at the ground as that were its Mum or Dad, as chicks do.

On Friday the 8th, the day after first posting this, a second chick emerged from under the building at breakfast-time (there had been another small thump on the roof during the night). The two were very close, so are obviously siblings. The newest one is better fledged than the one in the photos, but has yet to get over its timidity towards me.

Many of the adult doves are looking rather moth-eaten at the moment because they are moulting, which is another reason why I'm surprised to see chicks appearing now. Perhaps the extended drought we are having on Waiheke (and much of New Zealand) has made for a longer breeding-season. The local paper said it's been the driest January-February on Waiheke Island since records began in 1914.  We had only 5mm of rain in January and 13mm in February.

The breakfast-time total at the moment is about two dozen doves descending upon me when I go out in the mornings. That is always an experience, no matter how often it has happened: a flight of white birds flying down eagerly from the tall trees like so many angels as soon as I open the door. Twenty-three or twenty-four adult birds and chicks from earlier in the season, and the two newest chicks. This morning (Saturday the 9th) there were twenty-five or twenty-six altogether.