Posts Tagged ‘Avon River’

I often see Canada Geese on the river, but over the years I’ve never seen a Canada Gosling, and I wonder why.  Do you know?

N Z Birds Online tells me this species “Nests as solitary pairs but often in close proximity to other members of the flock. Monogamous, with female completing all of the incubation over about 27 days, and the gander actively defending a small territory around the nest. The nest is a down-lined ground depression often hidden amongst rushes or short protective vegetation. Clutch size generally 5 white eggs. Laying is mainly in September–October but can also extend considerably later in the North Island, and second nestings have occasionally been recorded in December–February. Both parents actively guard the young during their 8-9 weeks of growth until capable of flight. The family may remain together for several months and join with other pairs and families into an extended flock. When pairs nest in close proximity, amalgamation of broods and shared parental duties are common.”

Have any of my readers seen a Canada Gosling?

“I wonder where the goslings hide
somewhere along the riverside.”


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Usually we see ducklings in September.  Now it’s almost November, and I hadn’t seen a single feather.  A friend told me yesterday she’d seen some around the Loop, so after breakfast at Little Pom’s, Stephen and I walked slowly around the river with our eyes peeled for ducks.

First we saw a family of nine stripey Paradise Ducklings:

Then a group of three newly hatched mallards, still with yolk on their faces (hard to see them in the iddle of the river):

A couple of adolescent ducks and their mother came to see whether we had brought breakfast for them:

Finally we found another small family beside the Barbadoes Street Bridge.  These ones were paddling furiously against the current:

Good to know there are new ducks around.  They don’t sit still to pose for photos, but they are a delight to behold, and I’ll be taking another walk soon to check on them.

“It’s such a lovely piece of luck
to contemplate a tiny duck.”


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A lone paradise shellduck was sitting on a tree by the river this morning.  Where is her mate, I wonder?  They mate for life, so I hope he’s not far away.

“A lone duck sitting on a tree
she looked as lonely as can be.”


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A great jet of water pouring over the river and Oxford Terrace prompted me to investigate.

It turned out to be a Fire Brigade Training exercise.  They simply lift up the cover of a fire hydrant and plug into the water main.  The bright sunlight provided a rainbow in the water.

The firemen assured me they were kindly washing the road.  When I inquired what might happen to any car coming down Oxford Terrace from Hurley Street they demonstrated how they could change the direction of the water flow.  It’s good to know the brigade is prepared for all kinds of fires.

“I went across to see because
I wondered what the water was.”



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Continual rain overnight (thanks to Cyclone Cook) meant that our patio was flooded when we got up this morning.

Patio Pond

We’ve not seen it like this before.  There was 40mm of rain overnight, and the ground underneath must still be saturated from the previous week’s rain.  Luckily it’s draining now the rain has eased.  The river was also high, and was over its banks in several places.

Avon/Otakaro near Barbadoes Street Bridge

It’s flowed onto Fitzgerald Avenue near the Kilmore Street intersection.  We’ve been spared the high winds that have caused problems in the North Island, and a fine afternoon is forecast.

“I’ll stay inside, the river’s high
and I want to keep warm and dry.’


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Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson  is a poem I often think of when I see ducklings.  They are such an endearing symbol of renewal.  This poem is often found in anthologies of readings suitable for weddings, yet I’ve never been asked to include it in a ceremony.

Yesterday I saw ten brand new ducklings down by Sunset Corner.


Today there were seven Paradise ducklings at the Margaret Mahy Playground.


All uplifting symbols of hope and regeneration.

“A duckling is the sweetest thing
and sure to make any soul sing.”

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To see horses crossing Barbadoes Street is unusual.  I grabbed my camera and followed them along the river.


These horses usually live in Marshland Road, and had come into town to give some children a ride.  They were now being offered a chance to cool off in the river.  I did wonder whether pollution in the water might  be harmful to them.

The horses’ owner was called Richie, and I think he’s Richard Hayden, who has previously seen in town with horses.  Certainly the ponies and dog look the same.

“A horse is not a common sight
to have them near was a delight.”


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