Sunday, March 29, 2015

Frack off to Deep Sea Mining

At the march today an array of signs one stating 'Frack off' and this one that I think sums it up. Even China is moving towards the idea of  developing and using cleaner fuels.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Shoal Bay Forest & Bird Walk

Following on from the newspaper article last Tuesday, today was a chance to take a group of  Forest and Bird members for a walk along the shell barrier bank at Shoal Bay.

 Meeting at one of our new signs at  10.30am  a good turnout of people arrived. This later  included Margi and some of her 'Bush Walk and Talk' people from an earlier Saturday morning walk who turned up just after 11am and this made a good number of 15 people for checking out the birds in the estuary.



 We watched  pied stilts, NZ dotterels, kingfisher, Caspian tern, white- faced heron, and  Southern Black backed gulls, adult and juvenile.

Many Thanks to Neil Davies and Margi Keys who supplied these photos of our group today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Secrets Out!

Here I am proudly showing off our new signage at Shoal Bay. Hannah Morris wrote a great article after meeting me and a local resident Eddie Hatch a couple of weeks ago.

 Eddie lives in a house overlooking the bay and has noticed that people seem to be taking more care to pick up litter and not disturb the birds since our Forest & Bird Interpretive signage was installed.

 There is a duplicate sign on the far side of the estuary below O'Neills cemetery on the far side of  the 'new' pipeline walkway and cycleway bridge.

Part of a group of 100 pied stilts with 9 bar-tailed godwit seen today

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Maiden Voyage.

My replacement kayak was given a test at Shoal Bay today with a large expanse of water to explore due to a 3.6metre high tide. This enables me to cross the mangroves and explore a shell bank that could act as a good nest site for NZ dotterel. The retractable rudder was ideal when crossing these areas and useful for steering in the deeper areas of the bay.

 Today there were six pied stilt and two black backed gulls on this unreachable by land shell bank. However on the longer  shell barrier bank there was only a small area not submerged due to the high tide and this was crammed with over 80 pied stilts and four beautiful bar-tailed godwits in tundra colours ready for a their long flight to Alaska. Also the same Caspian tern with a whining juvenile that I saw the other day and three VOC's (variable oystercatchers).

Just binoculars and a compact camera today which was unfortunate as a swamp harrier flew low just overhead and my 300mm lens which I normally carry would have captured him perfectly. Another time. I will be back.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kawaka Reserve, a BBQ Catch-up and Birdie!

Good walk with Bot Soc led by Maureen through the Kawaka reserve about 9kms outside of Warkworth.

Then a catch-up and BBQ at  Anne and Johns lovely garden. And later a tour of the extensive grounds and feeding of the huge eels in the garden stream. Good to catch up with  Suzy and meet some new faces.

This was great fun especially watching John feeding his pet juvenile starling called Birdie with grapes and macadamia nuts.

 Thanks Eliane for a fun time on a beautiful autumn day.

Kauri Snail in Kawaka Reserve
Alseuosmia fruit

Copulating stick insects tricky to photograph clearly

John feeding Birdie

A late afternoon walk

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Shoal Bay

Pied Stilt waiting for the tide to recede


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kontiki Salvage

While bird watching on the East Coast we found this rather expensive kontiki on the beach and decided to clear up the tangle of nylon line to make the beach safer.

 The battery was still showing a recharge light. We decided to rescue the device and struggled back to the car over the dunes. We thought it would be good to return to the owner and maybe find out where it had come from. Will post the outcome of this story

A prized Kontiki washed up on the East coast

Removing the nylon line from the sea also entangled in sea weed

Dangerous hooks and nylon a high risk for sea birds and other sea life


Yes I did help too with carrying it back to the car!
VOC nest but this is an infertile egg
Muehlenbeckia Fruit

Sea Primrose
REWARD- Kontiki Salvage on the 3rd of March resulted in a reward from the owner who came to pick it up a couple of weeks ago. So that paid for dinner and a glass of wine or two at the Thai restaurant which  I got to choose as it was my turn.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Okura Bush Walkway

Thanks Jocelyn A great Forest and Bird walk today along the Okura Bush walkway to Dacre cottage the little herders cottage built in the 1850's

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