Sunday, July 6, 2014


The 'F word.' Fun of course! That's what yesterday turned out to be, well hilarious actually mostly at my expense. We had arranged to meet to walk to some East coast beaches to check traps and later meet up with a scientist to check on Kauri dieback disease in a local Reserve.  

The first beach went fine but as with the other traps checked later there would be no catches today. However to our delight a white heron was feeding with a group of black shags so we had some good views of that. Eliane fixed up some posts ready for the Summer season. We skipped the second beach to be in time to meet up with Tony and went onto our third beach site heading through the forest  after chatting to the young guys herding the cattle from some rather wet fields.

 At the beach the various combinations of planting for restoration were discussed. We crossed the river at a shallow point and  spent an hour or so collecting shells then moving them to suitable spot to attract nesting birds. It was while carrying a couple of bags of shells back across the river that I decided to try a shallower crossing where the river met the sea but this turned out to be a fatal error.  I disappeared under to about chest height. It was too late that I realised that the flow of water had gauged out the river bed deeply.

Lunch was next as I changed into my rain gear over-pants. Eliane thought I looked like a Ninja with my black merino top on too. Tony thought I should wear a berka to complete the outfit. I thought I should take up cycling with the Lycra sensation of the over trousers which I was beginning to enjoy. The rest is unrepeatable.

The pied stilt family of two adults and two juveniles are still together with an additional adult. The family have been together since January this year.

Later our forest walk up to the ridge was interesting but didn't quite hit the spot for finding diseased trees and soon the light would have been failing under the trees. Tony headed home and Eliane and I headed back to the beach we had missed earlier to complete the trap checking and re-baiting and then home for a welcomed evening meal and glass or two of wine.