Saturday, February 17, 2018

Waharau Regional Park

With feelings of deja-vu I joined the Bot Soc walk after a fleeting visit to the Miranda shorebird centre. Then with Bot Soc friends we climbed to the ridge track way above the Firth of Thames.

 I remember walking here in 2012, although not as high with a friend after meeting at the  Miranda centre and then enjoying the botany on a rather wet day. She was intrigued by the patterns of Tangle fern that I had recorded in a photograph in my bush book. Later we had enjoyed the strong North Easterly lashing the coast.

Today was dry, the rain had passed earlier on but the very high  humidity was draining as we trudged to the top. However the stunning views, good company and beautiful bush made it all worthwhile.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentines Day and a closer look at some bird legs

I like the valentine day quote by Micky Rooney who said - "Always get married early in the morning, in case it doesn't work out and then you haven't wasted the whole day".

It  seemed like a good idea at the time. Should we move the sound anchor?   It had been washed away from its upright position with the storm and we had rescued it and moved it to higher ground to come back another day with a spade to re erect it nearby. Today was that day. However it seemed to make sense to move it to the new shell bank nesting site about half a kilometre south.

It's  very heavy being constructed  on a half round log pole complete with solar panel speaker electronics and heavy battery. Fortunately the kayak wheels saved the day as we trussed one end to the wheels and it rather resembled something that you might struggle with to appear with at an Easter ceremony. But it worked and in the high humidity and 27 degrees heat was a much easier option than carrying it on sun burnt shoulders.

Easter parade

That's a long haul along the beach

New location for sound anchor

A new SD card is installed in the camera
The high tide roost site was inundated with red knots, bar-tailed godwit, SIPOS, VOC's NZ dotterel Banded dotterel and turnstone.

When I later looked at these photos I noticed the orange flag on the leg of a Red Knot
 The Red Knot with the orange flag on its leg was apparently caught about ten years ago in Victoria. Thanks for promptly replying to my email and passing on this info Adrian.

The day ended with a meet up with other friends for a meal in a local town to celebrate a birthday the following day. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Ruapehu MINTs meet-up. 2018

I'm just back and uploading photos from a great time with MINTs friends at our latest annual gathering at Ruapehu. It's our fourth year of exploration of this area.

 It was great to meet Jutta and Rudi from Whanganui who added to the fun and interest especially as Rudi is a 'fly' man. Neil joined us too, tip toeing across streams photographing every inch of our travels.
Fern bird followed us from Day 1 as we negotiated the Mangahuia track which took us rather longer (8.5 hours) rather  than the DOC signage (5hours) but then we hardly moved far for the first hour as we attempted to get photos of the  illusive fern birds that were tantalizingly close but eluded our cameras for a clear shot.

On Day 2 We explored the Mahui falls and Toakakura falls area where Neil spotted a Whio ( blue duck) further downstream so we bush bashed until Neil could find a suitable tree to climb to get a clear photo. On the way back we enjoyed the Lahar Mounds walk too.
The ascent to the amphitheatre on Day 3 offered some stunning views and a chance to navigate the volcanic rocks to search for alpine flowers.

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

Mt Ngauruhoe from Mt Ruapehu

Looking for my Sherpa ! Thanks for this one Neil.

MINT friends lunch stop. Sooz is up and ready to go. I'm wearing my half Lawrence today!
Tomtit along the Mangahuia track

Dragonfly along Mangahuia track
Can you see the camouflaged grasshopper?

Grey Warbler at Tawhai Falls walk

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

Friday, February 2, 2018

3.6 Metre tide at Shoal

It's a 3.6 Metre tide today but fortunately the North Easterly has reduced considerably so the birds will still have some shell banks for roosting.

I count 93 bar-tailed godwit that I watched fly in and land dead on High tide at 9.37 am but they were soon disturbed by two people paddle boarding and so some of the group flew East. I was keen to see where they had gone so walked along the edge of the Estuary only to see a smaller group of 19 fly back in V formation.

I then found the rest of the birds on a small difficult to observe shell bank surrounded by mangroves  along with pied stilt and Variable oystercatcher. The birds seem jittery this morning.
 I'm hanging off a cliff above high tide water with tripod and scope to count the birds and camera as a second check for later in case I have missed anything.

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