Friday, December 31, 2021

Old Year Out

 The clock is ticking to the beginning of a 2022. There are many reasons to put 2021 behind us but then for many of us its not been so bad when you consider the turmoil that exists in so many places on our shared planet Earth.

So I'm for thanking all the people who have made it an enjoyable experience and for the opportunities I have had to enjoy their company and engage with good conversations and a shared enjoyment of Nature. Sadly one of those people is Jim Eagles who sadly passed away very recently. I will miss Jim and  our  regular catch-ups when counting the shorebirds at Shoal and Ngataringa estuaries for  wader bird counts. And on other occasions at Miranda and on Cheltenham beach. Our condolences go out to Chris and their family. 

Other sadness at this time of the  year is remembering my sister Susanne who passed at Christmas time last year. My thoughts are with her family too.

So lets all enjoy what we have and the friends we value and share a toast to another year ahead.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Mahurangi Vision

The tide was perfect today to allow me to cross from the Mahurangi Regional park to Te Muri beach. An easy refreshing up to the knees crossing across the TeMuri stream was welcome after a steep climb above Sullivan's bay then onto  Cudlip point.

Auckland Council thinking seems to be that  Te Muri Regional park will be a stand alone park. with its own road access and car parking.  Mahurangi residents have a bigger vision that   considers Te Muri  as part of a network of reserves including Wenderholm and Waiwera with possibilities for a long distance footpath. This would  encompass all four reserves with public transport connections to bring people in or under their own steam of walking or cycling.. 

With an increasing  imperative to acknowledge our changing climate and the need to reduce our dependency on oil the Council plan appears to be 'Same old Thinking;  once again. .The Mahurangi vision seems  more about bringing people into the park by other means  acting as a circuit beaker to the way the Regional parks have previously been managed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Mahurangi Peninsular

Still exploring  within the Auckland Lockdown boundary.

 More to follow...........

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Point Wells

Its that time of the year again. Its Christmas Party time and today Bot Soc (Auckland Botanical Society) are gathering at Point Wells for a get together..

It was great to be able to catch up with people after a long period of Lockdown restrictions. After a gentle hour or so walking around the saltmarsh edge of the estuary it was time for a splendid lunch together in the village hall with a great outdoor area to keep up our social distancing.

Later I took the opportunity to visit the shorebird /wildlife sanctuary behind the predator fence at Omaha. I soon came across at least five pairs of Variable Oystercatchers who reminded me not to come too close to their fenced off nesting sites. With NZ dotterel pairs also nearby.

Then on to meet up  with a good friend and enjoy dinner out together at our favorite Indian restaurant. Some fluffing around trying to find my vaccine certificate on my phone that seemed to have disappeared but eventually with the help of the lovely Indian lady we were able to settle down and enjoy our catch-up meal.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021


 Not one but two. Now that's unusual to see two stoats on the same day close by. We have been in Lockdown for many weeks now and the borders have been closed but we have had the freedom to explore Auckland and I never miss an opportunity to re-visit favourite reserves. One of these is on the Mahurangi peninsular. Its a great escape from the city I visit weekly. and sometimes when possible stay overnight in one of the three beautiful campgrounds.

A couple of weeks ago I had headed for one of my favorite walks up the hill to the lookout and then down to Te Muri bay . I crossed the river as the tide was good to  explore  behind the top  of the beach. keeping a lookout for any NZ dotterel nesting activity. At once I disturbed  a stoat.  It bounded away with an undulating movement. At first thinking it was a rabbit the black tail was the real giveaway. 

Heading along the back path above the beach about 10 minutes later I was aware of movement in front of me and yes there was stoat 2. It just stopped in its tracks s I did and we just stared at each other for a few minutes  I usually carry a camera but on this occasion I had left it in my bag as I crossed the river so I missed the opportunity to get a photo. Yesterday I returned this time camera in hand but all was quiet. I had passed on my sightings to the Ranger the previous week who had explained that due to Covid 19 restrictions  his volunteers had not been able to enter the park s so the string of stoat traps had not been baited for a while. Yesterday they were full of rabbit meat so maybe the stoats were wary at having a too easy  a tasty  meal served up for them.