I've never seen a flock of quail so close to the house before! They are a familiar sight taking dust baths on the farm tracks, but right outside the house. I got a few photos through the window as they scurried from under the karaka tree to under the badly frost bitten hydrangeas. They were almost exactly the same colour as the dead hydrangeas.
Although not the native quail they have been here for a long time since they were introduced in the 1860s but only flourished in the northern parts of the North Island.
These would be a family, I think. They form breeding pairs in spring which isn't all that far away so hopefully they will nest nearby and become regular visitors.
And that would make me very happy. I think they are delightful. And I like the fluttering, whirring noise made by their wings during take-off into flight when disturbed. A sound I heard as I tried to inch upon the door for a better shot.