Tui on kowhai

Late afternoon at Otari Native Botanic Garden in spring - pretty colourful given that the colours of NZ native plants are generally quite muted.  The textures and shapes of the grasses, shrubs and trees add interest too, here in a small corner looking beyond to Wilton's Bush and regenerating growth on the hills.

The golden kowhai flowers are profuse, and they attract a lot of agile and noisy tui hungry for the nectar.  Images of tui on kowhai in bloom are a bit of a cliche, but still an engaging sight.  This one was very active, but in a moment between drinks was still enough to display its bright eyes, white collar feathers and neck tuft, and the lovely blue green iridescent sheen of the otherwise black-looking feathers.

Then it was back to work, stretching its neck up to sip the nectar from the base of a kowhai flower...

What's this then?  Was it the click of the shutter, or other tui approaching - the tui was on alert again.

Seen from below the white neck tuft and collar feathers do suggest a clerical collar - early European settlers called it the Parson Bird.  But I think tui lack the seriousness which that name suggests - for me they are great entertainers even though they are just going about their lives.