My last entry ended with the masked bee completing her nest in a bee hotel, and the comment “all seems to have gone well.” But alas! 4 hours later a weird skinny insect drifted in to inspect the hotel.
Tonga’s 3 main island groups - Tongatapu, Ha’apai, and Vava’u – have mostly similar birds and other fauna. However I didn’t take many photographs on land as my camera was usually locked in an underwater housing. The wet weather and the camera-shy nature of many of the birds didn’t help either, but I did manage to get photos of a few creatures that were new to me.
The bird that woke me most mornings in Vava’u was this Polynesian Starling (Aplonis tabuensis). It regularly called outside my bedroom window and would then call on and off for the rest of the day. At least it didn’t start as early as the neighbourhood cockerels, or as early as our Kiwi fisherfolk neighbours who started their boat motor at 5 a.m. (and left it to warm up while they chatted!)
Have you ever seen what looks like a blue-green grain of rice flying in the sun, like this?
If so, and if you live in Australia, it’s probably an Emerald or jewel wasp from the Primeuchroeus genus. Like many iridescent creatures, the apparent colour changes depending on the angle of the light falling on it, and ranges from pale blue-green through a much darker turquoise to a deep emerald green.
Here’s a closer view of this wasp, which really is about the size of a grain of Basmati rice –: