Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dotterel Forum

I attended my third Dotterel Forum today, this year at Ambury park. It was great to come across so many familiar faces.

I have learnt a lot from listening to the dotterel care groups around Auckland share their successes and challenging times protecting dotterel at these forums. This year Ben Paris had asked me to be the Keynote speaker and I was almost disappointed to be asked because I thought I would not learn anything today if I was talking about the Shoal Bay project and just listening to myself..

Fortunately several members had presentations to share which gave me new ideas to take back to our project on the North Shore. A big thanks to Gwenda Pulham and Ben for organising this event and allowing me to share my presentation entitled 'Keeping the Shell Banks safe for Birds-Defending Safe Habitat'

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Goat Island Marine Reserve.

Great Forest & Bird visit today to the Goat Island Marine reserve with an excellent guided tour of the wet tanks and talk by Tim. Thanks John for organising such an interesting tour.

Elaine, Helen and I then went on to Mathesons bay for a walk up the stream track and then stopped for lunch.

Then with still time to spare we called in at the Omaha Wildlife reserve to see the large flock of banded dotterels.

The final visit for the day was to call in at Charlie's ice cream shop at Matakana for an ice cream to round of a great day.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Motuora Island

A rough ride to Motuora Island this morning with a strong Easterly but once in the shelter of the Island all was good. Lots of work to do including clearing a large earth slip that had fallen across the track to the Ridge track. Dave was keen for us to help clear this. So about six of us shovelled the earth to make a track possible.

More to follow.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Hauraki School Shell Bank clean-up

It was great to be asked to help with the Hauraki school shell bank clean-up at Shoal Bay this morning following my talk and Power Point to the Middle School on Wednesday..

At twenty past nine a  huge crowd of children with their teachers and parent helpers descended on the shell beach at Charles street to begin the clean up. The students excitedly searched for plastic rubbish stopping only to ask the occasional question about birds, look through my scope at pied stilt and dotterel  or re-fit their sometimes loose and stuck in the mud gumboots. A magic morning!

Photos to follow.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hauraki School-'Keeping the Shell Banks Safe for Birds'

Great to be invited  to talk to six classes of the Middle school of  Hauraki Primary today. My talk entitled 'Keeping the Shell Banks safe for Birds'.

Dodging the heavy rain I arrived early to a welcome by Chelsea the teacher who is   organising the beach clean-up. The students were amazing, asking some great questions and I'm looking forward to helping them with their beach clean up on Friday morning on the Shell Banks..

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Shoal Bay has legs!

And that's not just the 80 pied stilts pairs of  pink legs that I counted today. No I'm talking about the pest control  project that is part of the  North West Wild-link (NWWL).

 Our aims are to help the bush birds already present along the bush edge of the estuary and also to protect the nesting and roosting site of some 12 threatened and at risk  bird species including shore birds that regularly use the shell banks to rest after feeding and some including the NZ dotterel, Variable Oystercatcher and pied stilt for nesting..

 These birds include my Famous Five birds that are mentioned in the DOC designation of Shoal Bay and Ngataringa Bay as a  site of Special Wildlife Interest. Those five birds are the NZ dotterel, the banded dotterel, the wrybill, Caspian Tern and reef heron. The very secretive banded rail is also present in Shoal bay.

This project has attracted more support from Auckland Council with a facilitator to help us work through the issues with a vision going forward to help with the sustainability of the project.

More to follow..........