Thursday, 29 December 2016

Berry Season

Melva grew these wonderful berries. Strawberry, raspberry and boysenberry. Desert. Summertime at The Riverbank. The wild blackberries have cropped well too.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Cabbage Tree Moth

You just have to like the antennae on this Cabbage Tree Moth we found on our carpet.

Friday, 23 December 2016

There is always something new to us

We have not seen these fellows before. We were out on our drive at 4:30am this morning waiving goodbye to a parting guest when we noticed this Black Tunnel Web Spider on the concrete. She (I think) is about 40mm across and beautiful.

The other spider seems to be a White Tail. We came inside after our guest departed and this fellow was running around the skirting board. Didn't know then that it was a White Tail. Picked it up and put it outside.

Kool critters

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Footprints in the mud

Mioweka (Banded Rail) - Pateke and PÅ«weto (Spotless Crake) prints at Old Mill Ln Wetland. The have all been busy to catch the last fish as the wetland dries up on these sunny days and small tides.

Banded Rail and Pateke Ducklings feeding in our wetland

Here are a couple of long videos of the Banded Rail and Pateke Ducklings feeding in our wetland at Old Mill Ln. 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Pateke Ducklings

Our very secretive Pateke pair have had their second clutch of chicks this year. This time it is six. Fantastic.
They are seen here right by our boardwalk in our wetland

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Piwakawaka all around us.

These Piwakawaka chicks are viewed from our deck being fed by the parents.
It is fascinating to watch the chicks huddling together to stay warm. Occasionally an outside chick climes over its neighbour to the centre. Too cold on the outside.
See videos at

Parent and Chick (The parent has the white eyebrows)
Parent arrives with food

Those hairy things sticking out from the chicks mouth are insect legs.
The parent makes sure that the food is all the way home. Interestingly, they feed all the chicks evenly. 

Staying warm

Sunday, 11 September 2016

It was a beautiful spring day...

The blue balloon was stretched tight over The Riverbank today. Warm and sunny. The Clematis we planted from seed is in full bloom climbing over a manuka by the garden.

Also today we completed the installation of a seat and leaner that overlooks part of the garden and our wetland and boardwalk. From here we can hear Spotless Crake and the Fernbirds calling in the wetland and watch Piwakawaka flitting amongst the fruit trees. It's a nice sunny place for an evening drink and nibbles.

Col the Kiwi revisited the hole in the bush several times this week. Here is one of its visits on the 9th. It looks like it can no longer fit into the hole!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

What's in the garden.

These tiny exotic snails are in our garden and eating our letuces They are an introduced snail originally from Europe. It is Prietocella barbara according to Dr Karin Mahlfeld, Landscape Ecologist, Malacologist, Science Educator

These flatworms, as well as some other interesting fellows, are there too. They are Planariums and eat worms. There are lots of different kinds of Planariums too..

Monday, 8 August 2016

Te Waiotoi - Hidden River

Our lovely hidden Waiotoi River as seen from the Waiotoi Track

We also re- discovered the Dracophyllum Lessonianum we found two years ago and could not find again. We have submitted this find to the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network and it can be seen on the map. It is the only reported Dracophyllum Lessonianum on the East Coast between Matakana and Urupukapuka Is in the Bay of Islands.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Monarch Butterfly

First we had the caterpillar, then the chrysalis and today this beautiful Monarch emerged. In the middle of winter! This was in our lounge where it is warm. No hope for them hatching outside this time of year. Magic.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Resident Pateke at Old Mill Ln

A trail camera can be such fun.
These family shots were taken within one metre of the boardwalk at Old Mill Ln.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Rails and Rats

It is always a joy to see Rails in our wetland. 

We poison bait, trap and all that. Still have rats. Always will have them but maybe a few less.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Winter Garden Produce

Not so much in our garden in the winter but what there is is good.
Juicy Kaffir Limes, Bananas, Choko (Chayote), lemon and limes.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Fungi at Old Mill Ln

All these kinds of fungi are on one dead Kowhai at the beginning of The Waiotoi Track at Old mill Ln. Amazing!