Chris- Nora's birds are not Caspians. I love Nora's postings - but those arnt Caspians (and Caspians arnt particularly rare-) cheers n/n Islander
Thanks for your logs, they're helping cut down erosion, flooding, desertification and sandstorms up here.
And they were doing not a bad job here when still attached to their roots. Perhaps contrary to the impression given by the photo.
This is half of the Tarndale 'Slip' (gully) two weeks ago. It has defeated all efforts at revegetation, but radiata pine-based forestry has stopped many smaller gullies and greatly reduced the proliferation of new gullies and slips in this incredibly erosion-prone country in the upper catchment of the Waipaoa River out the back of Gisborne.
No desertification or sandstorms either, so must be doing a good job on them too. Just pollen storms at the beginning of August.
I am impressed ( and have been for the past 40 years that I've lived on the West Coast/Tai Poutini) by the extraordinary salvage work the NZFS has done, still does-kia kaha! Kia toa!
Nora’s birds are not Caspians
That is true, those birds are definitely ordinary old gulls. But in the clear light of morning I see small bird in this picture of Chris's. The caspian that set off all the discussion? : )
blue Pacific – loading logs in Gisborne today.
The bird is not your common or butcher’s shop gull, but a Caspian tern (distinctly uncommon).
Caspians are relatively common in Aotearoa-NZ - I'm not sure what that gull that is and am disinclined to check.
Morena Islander. Cropped/edited version of the same photo you commented on. The arrow indicates the bird I referred to, a Caspian tern. The same bird shows more clearly in the follow-up photo.
Nora's birds are not Caspians.
Agreed. They are: (photo 1) a black-backed gull, (photo 2) a black-backed gull and a red-billed gull, (photo3) a red-billed gull, nicely captured. A Caspian tern would not hang out out the back of a butcher's shop - Nora's birds are "common or [garden] butcher’s shop gulls" that my photo's bird (a Caspian tern) is not.
Caspian terns are "relatively common" in NZ relative to the critically endangered NZ fairy tern, but uncommon relative to back-backed and red-billed gulls and most other native species. Bell and Bell (2008) estimate on the basis of survey/census counts in the early 1990s that the NZ population then was about 1300 breeding pairs, and it is unlikely to have increased since. Your perspective from BigO may differ on its commonness, but those are very low numbers nationally, according with my experience.
in the clear light of morning
Indeed - isn't it lovely!
here's some blue (with exploding balloons) at the edge of the atmosphere...
Don't know what kind of tree this is, but it seems to be trying to imitate those Norfolk pines and their crosses.
The foliage detail isn't very clear, but still it seems very likely they are young deodar (deodar cedar, Wikipedia).
And though I've never made the comparison with Norfolk pine crosses myself, strange to say I only started 'seeing' these trees all over the place and finding out their name etc a few years ago when I saw their prominence in the same cemetery as those Norfolks with my grandfather's grave. There are both mature deodar likely planted around 100 years ago when the cemetery opened, and younger ones including a continuation of an avenue of Norfolks. So someone else links them together.
That's an older one with the sun passing behind it late morning in mid-June, low sun angle, enough blue for this thread I reckon.
And its foliage, this time last year when the male cones were shedding remarkable amounts of pollen, the female cones from previous season there too with impressive size and form.
Interesting source in the NW Himalaya, including far reaches of Tibet. It would be an interesting question whether its planting/spread into China is recent as in decades or more ancient as in centuries ...
Thanks, Chris. That wikipedia article gives a Chinese name 雪松/xuěsōng - "snow pine" - and the trees often have little name tags. I must go and check.
I was curious to read:
General cultivation is limited to areas with mild winters, with trees frequently killed by temperatures below about -25°C
So it'd cope with downtown/plains Beijing ok, but would struggle in the outer mountain regions of the west, northwest and north, and probably wouldn't grow terribly much further north than here.