Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas with your Monday Friend

Christmas celebration time again enjoy a great day on some beautiful beaches on the East coast.


Sunday, November 29, 2015


Photos to follow..............

Climate March Auckland 28.11.2015

Amazing turnout for the Auckland Climate March yesterday


 Photos to follow..............

Monday, November 23, 2015


After visiting the beautiful Waitawa reserve yesterday We are back North of Auckland on the East coast surrounded by NZ dotterel and VOC nests but this young pippit with a damaged wing feather stole the day I think.


Photos to follow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

VOC Nest -Shoal Bay.

Having watched the Variable oystercatcher chase off a hawk I was expecting that it was defending either eggs or chicks and sure enough today I found the nest site on the shell bank with three eggs in it.

Hot and Wet

Two late entries of recent visits to the East coast.



Photos to follow.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Matapouri Coast and hidden pathways.

Back on the Tutukaka coast exploring familiar beaches and hidden paths some leading to secluded beaches.
A solo juvenile godwit on the beach and three endangered pateke duck exploring a drainage ditch in daylight at Wooleys Bay. Sea primrose in flower at Ngungaru, Wooleys bay and at the Mermaid pools.

I wanted to revisit the Mermaid pools. Its a steep tricky path at the end of Matapouri  beach probably not to be attempted when wet. The pools were a stunning colour and quite still like a millpond today. On my previous visit a couple of years back the sea was wild and I couldn't get in for a dip. Today was perfect, the cool fresh water took my breath away.  The sun warmed rocks soon warmed me up as I dried off. I'm not sure that a Merman pool is quite so interesting as a Mermaid pool.

Whale bay as beautiful as ever I had to have a swim here and later I climbed high above the beach to a headland that maybe could be a pa site.
On the coastal path to Whale bay native clematis is in flower these are the male flowers.

This is a great coastline with so much to explore and the rivers entering the little estuary at Matapouri are great for kayaking too.

Behind Matapouri beach I discovered a hidden pathway leading  to a beautiful  grove of Nikau palms in the DOC Otito Reserve.

 Photos to follow.....

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

East Coast Return

It's that time of the year when we return to the East coast in time for the nesting season. It is good to be back and I thought to myself that there can be few other places that would trump this one as a place to spend some hours exploring and enjoying good friendships.


Dotterel nests and Variable oystercatcher nests riddled the sand dunes and four young pied stilt added to the scene along the river edge.

Finally a very bright full moon reflected on the tributary leading to the sea as the tide turned as we settled down for an evening meal to round of the day.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Glen Kowhai and Duck Creek Reserve

What an interesting walk today with Bot Soc led by Maureen Young. Some fantastic bush with so many interesting species of ferns and orchids and other plants. All amid a lovely setting complete with a river flowing along and through this stunning bush reserve.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Early start - Island in the sun.

Up before the crack of dawn yesterday morning to kayak to the island to check equipment and to count  the birds at the Northern tip at high tide.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mahurangi Regional Park

Godwits have arrived on the beach at  Sullivans bay. There were 29 then later these were joined by another 10. It was approaching high tide so they just stayed out of the way of the few visitors to the beach today.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Miranda - Return of the Godwits

Interesting talk at the Shorebird Centre today by Lee Tibbitts about tracking godwits.

I was pleased to photograph and identify this Pectoral Sandpiper a rare migrant to this part of the world. Keith and Adrian were able to confirm my ID. Many Thanks.

More Photos to follow..............

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Shakespear Regional park

Another stunning day and an escape to watch NZ dotterels guarding territory on the beach.

 Photos to follow........................

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Motion Detect Cameras

A beautiful day. A clear blue sky day warm and still on the water, ideal for the paddle across to the Island

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dome Forest Walkway

A Bot Soc walk today. Photos and more to follow.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Weather Window

Yesterday we took advantage of a weather window to kayak out to the Island to check the newly installed solar power driven sound gear. I was impressed.

High Tide Roost.South Island pied Oystercatcher and red knot in flight

Saturday, July 25, 2015

UK Visit

Photos and more to follow.....................

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Frosty start for the Kaipara

It was a beautiful morning early start with frost covered fields as we headed for the Kaipara and a paddle to the Island to check traps and do some other maintenance work..

A weasel and stoat were found in the traps, the stoat was almost at the high tide roost site. We are  always looking at the sand for rodent prints and sure enough there were heaps of small prints that can only be mice. The tightly grouped prints appear to be a mouse bounding along. There are often  hawks patrolling the dunes.

More and photos to follow.....................

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tamahunga Monitoring Tunnel line.

Mt Tamahunga has some very steep terrain with ridges and valleys and streams. A 500 metre route was taken and laid out with tapes and tracking tunnels to monitor rats in this beautiful forest that could one day be teaming with native birds including kiwi and kokako. It took us seven hours to complete the line and walk out with the reward of a pizza and glass of wine which was well earned I think.

Eliane checks notes and GPS.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A delightful Encounter

Seal Island? Well actually a bird Island today, Just back. And an exciting close
encounter with a young seal.


Eliane was in pursuit of some water containers that had been dropped off at the Island earlier  but we couldn't find them.  I was enjoying a walk along the foreshore after kayaking across to the Island with all the gear we needed for todays work.

 Then I spotted this young seal and it swam over to me and came very close and seemed very inquisitive to have a closer look at me. Then after a while it had had enough and carried on up the coast. When I looked behind me I spotted the water containers hidden in the undergrowth, the very containers that Eliane was looking for. I think the seal had been saying- "look behind you."

We watched NZ dotterel and lots of banded dotterel as well as godwits and SIPOS at High tide. It was another good day on the Island. As we prepared to launch the kayaks to leave the Island the young seal appeared again swimming on its back with its flippers crossed in front of it . A delightful encounter.

Photos and more to follow..................................

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Long Live BWT

I just had to go along and take a few photos and support Andrea today who has taken over the waterfall series of Bush Walk and Talk (BWT) walks from Margi. Todays walk is in the Witheford Reserve and I have not been there for some time.

 Andrea is the Project manger from the Kaipatiki project and is quite an expert on bush restoration. BWT is in good hands. It was good to catch up with the rest of the group too.

More Photos to follow.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Long Goodbye.

Well Margi had another farewell today. Her last North Shore bush walk through the Chelsea/Chatswood reserve area. This walk was with the Auckland Botanical Society (Bot Soc).

 I had planned to meet up with Eliane for a kayak trip to Bird Island in the Kaipara but we had cancelled due to the forcast, heavy rain and high winds. Our mission to check traps and  count birds. We may go on Monday.

Margi has had farewells with Kaipatiki, BWTwalkers, English language school, Bot Soc and tomorrow the very last one with the North Shore Forest and Bird committee. I am looking forward to that although of course with some sadness too.

Photos to follow.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Miranda - June once more.

Catching up with friends in Thames and good to see Jon and Mary settled in their new home. I will miss the old Cheese factory I have fond memories of visits there.

Like the wreck of a train or the ghost of a heartbeat -saying goodbye seems so final. There is no escaping ones past. It returns to you when you least expect it like a surprise you don’t want. Pain is so much more than just feelings-it’s an experience. If you look closely you can see the little granules of knowledge begging to be understood and memorised for the future and after the rain – the sun always shines.

Then called into Miranda  the evening light and tide It was cold and bleak but the huge landscape as ever was worth the extra layer or two of clothes. As the sun went down................

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Last Hurrah!

Today we celebrated a last North Shore 'Bush Walk and Talk' (BWT) with Margi. A walk in Eskdale Reserve.  It ends a 12 year reign, fun walks in the North Shore reserves and a popular Summer programme including our last summer trips to Browns Island and Tongariro.

I joined in 2008 and was keen to learn from Margi about our native bush. This allowed me to access a photographic treasure trove of bush subjects. I have not looked back and also gained a good friend..

Margi is moving on, moving 'down country'. However this is not the last we will see of Margi as further Tongariro trips are already planned and I look forward to catching up with  her in her new habitat.