I love these iconic little birds with their burglar stare…

Fairly recent arrivals, but self-introduced, this wee bird was first recorded in New Zealand in 1832, and its Maori name, tauhou, means ‘stranger’ or ‘new arrival’.  It is also known by wax-eye, silver-eye and white-eye, but its scientific name is the much more prosaic Zosterops lateralis.

small strangers
gate-crashing the ball


Poetry day here in New Zealand yesterday, and last night we went to a reading by Bill Manhire and Glen Colquhoun, fundraising for a statue of one of our local New Zealand poets, James K Baxter.  Packed-out venue and totally enjoyable.

One of James K Baxter’s poems that I have always loved:


Alone we are born
and die alone:
Yet see the red-gold cirrus
Over snow-mountain shine.

Upon the upland road
Ride easy, stranger:
Surrender to the sky
Your heart of anger.

…and an ever loyal Rod reading my poetry book outside Paige’s bookshop.