Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Matata Nest - Continued

Checked yesterday and there are now four eggs in the nest. Fantastic. Jan Doak visited and took some photos of one of our Matata from the boardwalk.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Hugh Crawford Bush Explore

What a way to spend the afternoon. The red line shows our explore in the Hugh Crawford Reserve up the stream bed past the waterfalls. Wonderful regenerating bush with large Totara, Taraire, Rimu, Nikau and all one would expect in a local bush. Sadly almost no birds. Plenty of Alseuosmia Banksii of all different shapes and sizes. All this right by our home.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Matata Nest

Over the past days I have observed a pair of Matata carrying pieces of rush back to one spot in the Oioi within a few metres of our boardwalk. Fantastic. They must be nesting. Over past years there have been quite a few nesting. This is the first time we have found a nest.
Today I took a look and found that already there are two eggs settled into the deep rush cup. Hopefully there are more eggs to come.

 The nest is high up in the rushes about 1.2m above the water.

Sunday, 14 December 2014


An infra red camera is a bit like a fish finder. We were happy fishing without one. Got a good fish finder and found there were hardly any fish. We were happy that we had very few rats if any after years of baiting and trapping. We bought a camera and yesterday found a rat!!

Today we caught one in the Doc 200 trap

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Spotless Crake

We knew we had Spotless Crake in our wetland. We have often heard these elusive little rail like birds but just could not catch a glimpse of one.
We bough a  camera with a motion sensor that can take video. We set it up in the wetland and bingo!!! We have a Crake family. Not a great video but it is proof. With the camera we have seen two chicks with the parent

Monday, 27 October 2014

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Aren't We Beautiful

Three Piwakawaka chicks in the Kanuka viewed from our deck. They await their next meal from a parent.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Kiwi Calling

Most nights for the last couple of months we have been hearing a male Kiwi calling in our valley.
Every day we see Brown and Californian Quail.
The wetland chirps almost continually with the calls from the many Matata.
Today the Banded Rail added its squawk.
Yesterday morning we heard the Spotless Crake.
Pi, Melva's friendly Piwakawaka, has a mate and a nest. It continually shuttles back and forth from the compost bin to the Manuka where their nest is located.
Riroriro warbles its bell like call in the Kanuka. No sign of nesting but they must be nesting near.
Pipiwharauroa sings and sings from the bush.
The bittern flew over again yesterday.
There is a lot happening at our place.
Take a walk on the yellow tracks and boardwalk shown in the picture below.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Spring - How the seasons change

Spring - Currently around our property we have Manuka, Mingimingi, Toropapa, Kowhai, Kowhai Ngutukaka, Puawānanga, Koromiko, Mairahau, Kumerahou, Hangehange, Coprosma, Batchelors Buttons, Rosemary and other garden plants in flower. All year round there is always something in flower
Great for our bees emerging into spring and beginning to expand the hives.
We also have Cailfornian Quail, Brown Quail, Matata, Tui, Piwakawaka, Kukupa and all our other bird friends about looking for mates.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Winter Holiday in New Zealand - North Island by Camper Van

On July 26th we picked up our Opollo Camper in Auckland and headed South. On our three week holiday at last. Our route took us to Wellington via New Plymouth and West of Mt Egmont then back to Auckland via Wanganui Stratford, Taumarunui, Tokaanu, Rotorua, Whakatane, Tauranga, and Katikati.

We had lots of interesting stops and side trips throughout.
Highlights were:

  • Mt Messenger Bush views at the tunnel on the way to Mokau and New Plymouth.

  • Mt Egmont

  • New Plymouth Coastal Walkway and bridge

  • Paritutu Rock - New Plymouth

  • Cape Egmont Historic Lighthouse

  • Kaupokonui Beach

  • Turuturumokai Historic Pa Reserve - Hawera

  • Hawera Water Tower - No photo

  • Waiinu Beach
  • Wanganui - Durie Hill Elevator and Tower War Memorial and Historic buildings.

    • Foxton Windmill and Flax Stripping Museum.

    • Paraparaumu - Southwards Car Museum.

    • Wellington - Cable Car, Zeelandia, Pencarrow Head Lighthouses. South coast to Owhiro Bay.

    • Stratford - Glockenspiel

    • Dawsons Falls & Wilkies Pools on Mt Egmont

    • The Forgotten Highway - State Highway 43 to Whangamomona and on to Taumarunui. Beautiful old growth bush reserves. Whangamomona Pub.

    • Tokaanu - Hot pools. Free camp at the boat club.

    • Orakie Korako Geothermal Park.

    • Waiotapu - Free geothermal mud pool on Waiotapu Loop Road.

    • Rotorua - Top 10 Campground with thermal pools. A walk through Kurau Park.

    • Whakatane - Kiwi Boy sculpture. Kapu Te Rangi Historic Reserve and lookouts.

    • Waihi - Historic Ti Tree Cafe Eatery

    • Of course we liked our Van