Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Patuone Reserve Walkway

This afternoon Trish and I presented at the Devonport and Takapuna Local Board Forum on behalf of BEAC ( Bayswater Environment Action Coalition) & Forest & Bird with the local residents of Byron Street.

This was to raise some concerns surrounding the upgrading and enlargement of the walkway to become a shared walkway with cyclists. The solution proposed by Auckland Council and to be part funded by the Local Board was to construct a boardwalk/bridge across part of this Upper Shoal estuary to cut a corner at the point shown in the photograph below..

Our No1 concern is that the scale of this 2.5 path could easily become  a transport link from Takapuna to the Harbour Bridge through this now quiet and valuable wildlife rich reserve..

There seemed to be no understanding that this area is designated as an SSWI ( Site of Significant Wildlife Interest)  with Ecological overlays on the Unitary plan.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Three Eastern Curlew & a Working Bee!

I am half way through an excellent book about the Eastern Curlew by an Australian writer Harry Saddler. This delightful book has kindly been loaned to me by Claire Stevens.

 Today I am at Miranda helping with a working bee around the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre, I'm into the weeding to help the planted coastal saltmarsh ribbonwood to be able to thrive. Fortunately there was time just before high tide to slip away to the bird hides nearby at the Findlay Reserve.

 Thousands of the endemic ( found only in New Zealand) wrybill delight while they frantically feed from the mud in a rhythmic motion scraping their right turned beaks across the surface biofilm. They are sifting the nutriments that they require for their late August  migration back to the braided rivers of the South Island to breed..

High percentage of total wrybill World population visit Miranda 

Wrybill-a unique bird with a bent to the right beak.

Juvenile godwits are also seen, birds that have not made the epic flight to Alaska this season. There are however three much larger uncommon migrant wader birds to be seen and these are the rare and now endangered  Eastern Curlew feeding on  the mudflats straight out in front of the Godwit hide.

Eastern curlew towers over four wrybill.

Three in a Row -Far Eastern Curlew.

Bar-tailed godwit with larger Eastern Curlew behind

This  amazing day finished with an excellent Potluck dinner at the centre followed by two films one still at the editing stage  about the extraordinary and exciting PGP ( Pacific Golden Plover Project) which has been co-ordinated by Jim Eagles at the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre..

Friday, August 9, 2019

Here we go again!

Once again the GD05 Auckland  Council guidelines for sediment management on development sites are woefully inadequate to cope with the amount of rainfall we  experience these days.

Below the development Stage 1 at Rutherford Street the area is covered in sediment laden water again as on Christmas day flowing via the swale into Shoal Bay estuary.

Down stream of this spill is the area that Godwit choose to roost and feed when they return form Alaska in September. Other birds that feed here ar wrybill, South Island pied oystercatcher, Variable oystercatcher and several other species. Sediment laden silt build up is not good for these birds.

Below the Hillary Crescent development the decant sediment pond has also overflowed pouting water across the Northboro Reserve pathway.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Shoal Bay - August Bait Pulse.

Back to check  bait stations. Nearly  all lines are being cleared of bait. There seems to have been an increase in rat activity probably due to such a warm summer period including July.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Northland -Winterless North

Forecast high winds and heavy rain have not been an issue so far and staying in historic  Kororareka is comfortable especially if sheltered from the strong Westerly winds.Wonderful Weka birds here. Enjoyable walks along Long beach which allows sightings of gannets, little shag, pied shag and a 2 metre dead shark washed up on the beach.

Then its back over the Opua vehicle ferry.

A visit to the fascinating town of Kawakawa with its historic railway undergoing restoration with rails through the main street. Watching  unsuspecting motorists competing with a diesel engine towing coaches down the main street is quite a novel site. Also  the famous Hundertwasser toilet block with the new build art centre behind is another unique attraction of this less than affluent town. Its a great place for a visit and I always enjoy coming back.

Back down the coast and a return visit to Ruakaka to watch birds in the estuary and dodge squally rain clouds that fortunately pass quickly heading out to sea.

Photos & more to follow...……………..