More than 200 people found it no problem to turn up at 8 am on a recent Sunday morning at the Hamilton Gardens. They poured into Te Parapara Garden to see the release of bellbirds into the Gardens. When the containers were opened, it was just a moment and a flash of olive and gold before they were out of sight.
We hope that they will stay at the Gardens - and more importantly - nest here so that when we visit they will delight us with their song.
It is some years ago that I visited Little Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf. This sanctuary could well be described as party central for bellbirds. There for the first time, listening to the dawn chorus, I realised how New Zealand used to be and what we have lost.
In the Waikato, we have very little of the indigenous cover remaining. We now treasure the meagre fragment of kahikatea at Jubilee Bush and marvel at the striking stand of kahikatea forest at Yarndley's Bush near Te Awamutu.
The bellbird release is possibly optimistic but also symbolic as a tangible reminder of all that we still need to do.