Sunday, 31 December 2017

The Hugh Crawford Reserve Cascades Track

Today we defined a track to the cascades in the Hugh Crawford DoC Reserve.
The junction for this hike is marked on the Pink Trail with two pink and one green tapes around a small tree on the left just before one would start heading up the hill on the pink trail. This hike from our Old Mill Lane Boardwalk takes about one hour - not allowing for sight seeing. At the end is a set of small cascades with a beautiful rocky bathing pool. On the return you could also pick up the remainder of the pink trail and complete the loop back to Old Mill Lane.
This is a beautiful bush walk that follows a wetland and stream to this set of cascading waterfalls.
Listen carefully and you may hear or see Matata, Miromiro and Matuku. You might even see Ruru in the tree ferns. Follow the link below.


Saturday, 23 December 2017

Another Fascinating Banded Rail and a Matata Video

Watch the second crabby parent as it runs into the chick then berates it for being in the way. The chick then emerges and pecks for food across the mud. The very high pitched call is the Rail chick. Other calls are Matata. (Fernbird)
Watch on Youtube -

Also here is todays Matata video from our wetland.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Nice to Know They Are There

Nice to Know They Are There in our wetland.
On the 14th December the camera caught a Banded Rail Chick. On the 15th it videoed a Banded Rail and juvenile and another Rail shot on the 16th.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Hugh Crawford Wetland Walk

Today we went for an exploratory walk through pat of the wetland near our home looking for Bittern. It is in the Hugh Crawford Reserve. It is a wonderful, pristine wilderness wetland. We say an Australasian Harrier and heard Spotless Crake very near to us. There were fish swimming in the crystal clear water.
Australasian Harrier

Australasian Harrier


Saturday, 25 November 2017

Friday, 24 November 2017

Californian Quail Chicks in our garden and Tui Dawn Chorus

Californian Quail Chicks in our garden, Life is tough for these little fellows. They struggle through the tall grass wilderness but manage to survive in a predator free area like ours but a days rain will wipe them out.They just love the sun and to sunbathe. Watch the video.

Our Tui Dawn chorus is taking over. We can ear them all over the valley.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Matata in our garden

This Matata has nested in our garden. They do not like us near and let us know that with agitated calling and clicking. They are just going to have to learn to live with us. There are so many in our wetland it seems they have started to move out. We have had them in the garden and about the house for the last couple of years.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Grey Warblers nest

The chicks have fledged. It is a real work of art with its little shade over the entrance

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Riroriro - There is always something interesting happening at The Riverbank.

Riroriro (Grey Warbler) have nested. The two in the slow motion video are quite stressed as we are too close to the nest which, although it can't be seen, is near the top left of the screen.
I recorded the sound later and added it to the video.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Kiwi Keep Visiting

Kiwi Keep Visiting this burrow. This time both female and male. This seems to be a weekly occurrence.
View on YouTube at

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Our darling Matata (Fernbirds)

 Here is a video of our Matata. There isn't much action to see tut there is lots of beak chattering and calling. This is taken from our wetland boardwalk.

Also every week we download videos from our camera in the bush. Every week we see kiwi. The following video has a male first then a female visiting the burrow.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

I love the symmetry and randomness of nature. Here an emerging fern frond displays its exactness while a nearby Towai trunk has white, orange and black lichen randomly growing on it.

Monday, 14 August 2017


It is Orchid time of the year in the Hugh Crawford Reserve.. Here is  Spider Orchid - Corybas trilobus. There are many other native orchids in the Hugh Crawford Reserve.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Kiwi at Old Mill Ln

Every week we download videos from our camera in the bush. Every week we see kiwi. View on YouTube

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Grey Faced Petrels at Taurawhata on the Tutukaka Coast

Today's video download at the Grey Faced Petrel colony at Taurawhata on the Tutukaka Coast showed a pair changeover at the burrow being monitored by trail camera.
Follow the link below.
This really is a beautiful spot.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The new Ngunguru School Wetland Classroom

We had a second wonderful day at Old Mill Lane at the new Ngunguru School Wetland Classroom where year 3 and 4 children explored the mysteries of, and importance of wetlands. They discovered what fish we have with Hilton, birds - their calls, tracks and recognition with Dayna Davies, wetland plants and their importance with Nan Pullman and sounds and smells of the bush with Melva. Matua Rod lead them into secrets and traditions, uses and mana of trees in the bush, and Loren Hope - Ngunguru School Earth Education teacher - introduced the children to the Giants of the bush. It was another big fun day.
Below is a Facebook comment from one of the parents:-
What an awesome day spent with Ngunguru School on our field trip - learning about wetlands from the most knowledgeable people! Fantastic, and the kids lapped it up ❤️👍

Thank you Malcolm Pullman for the following photos

The Wetland Boardwalk

Matua Rod in te ngahere

Loren Hope with a group

fabulous fish

Lunch break

Dayna - Birds are exciting

Thank you Emma Jelsma for the following photos👍
One of Hilton's groups viewing bird tracks in the mud.

Matua Rod preparing a Kawakawa / Manuka brew for the children to try.

Loren Hope and a group doing and exercise about trees in the bush.

Hilton and a group with fish caught in the fish traps.

A drink for everyone from the bush.

More fabulous fish.