Tony Spite was pottering around his Hadleigh Court garden in Paraparaumu when he heard a commotion coming from a pond.
He ventured over and saw that a young thrush had fallen off a water-lily leaf into the water after being spooked by a blackbird.
Its baby feathers were soon waterlogged and it started to drown.
Quick-thinking Tony shooed the blackbird away and pulled the young thrush out of the water and placed it on a warm path hoping it would recover.
"It didn't think it would survive but the next time I looked over it had vanished into the garden."
A few months later Tony and his wife Jenny were having breakfast when the thrush "walked into the house, walked right up to me, and sort of looked at me, and I said to my wife 'this must be the thrush that I saved from the pond'."
They gave it some bits of grained bread, a bit of Weet-Bix and some apple.
Throughout the summer, two years ago, the thrush made a daily appearance in their house at breakfast and lunchtime.
Then, as the weather got colder, the thrush vanished again, but this time its focus was on building a nest in preparation for raising a family.
The next summer the thrush revisited the couple this time bringing two fledglings and making daily appearances inside the house enjoying the hospitality, flying around parts of the house, chilling out on a sofa, avoiding a cat, as well as fossicking around the garden.
Then, as autumn approached, the thrush left again to find its usual partner so a nest could be prepared for more offspring.
Tony and Jenny await to see who will be visiting their home when the warmer months arrive.
The thrush's life and antics led to an idea.
"I thought it was rather a sweet story so I started writing it for my grandchildren," Tony said.
"And then I thought it would be fun to write it from the thrush's point of view.
"So that's how it has ended up."
And now the story has been transformed into a children's book called The Amazing Mrs T which also contains photographs of the birds and illustrations by Jenny.
People can purchase a copy by emailing Tony via email@example.com