Ali McDonald from DOC Whangarei writes:
Fifteen years ago I watched David Attenborough’s ‘The Private Life of Plants’ and almost overnight it transformed my perception of the flora that surrounded me, from the benign green stuff I took for granted into a complicated and surprisingly sophisticated world of intrigue. Though I have long been an admirer of birds it is fair to say my short time spent working closely with our little tara iti (New Zealand fairy tern) has had a similar effect. Read more
Alan McKenzie writes about the the story of the development of the coastal trail from Waipu Cove south to Ding Bay. Leaflets about the trail from the Museum or Camp Waipu Cove.
Story first printed in the Bream Bay News November 2011 Read more
Article from the Latest Bream Bay News – Read it on line here
Department of Conservation ranger Ali McDonald said the chicks, in separate nests at different ends of the sandspit, coped well with the heavy downpours in the last week of December and now have most of their juvenile feathers.
Just before Christmas they were banded with metal rings on their legs, which will identify them for the fairy tern volunteers and DOC staff who are working on the recovery of this very endangered bird species. Ali said the chicks are exercising their wing muscles and have been making short flights.
They are starting to practise fishing for themselves though they will be reliant on their parents for some time to feed them enough to meet their energy demands.
“The good news is they are now at an age where they have the option of flying away from some of the numerous threats which made them so vulnerable as chicks, however this is only if they can react in time and predators such as cats and harrier hawks certainly remain a very real.”
Waipu resident Steve Goldthorpe is standing for election to the Northpower Electric Power Trust, a company owned by its electricity consumers, which distributes electricity from the Transpower national grid to consumers in the Whangarei and Kaipara districts. Read more
The Northland Region Fire Service and Principle Rural Fire Officers request your help in notifying the public that the drought and fire bans will continue in spite of the minor rains predicted for Northland this week. Read more
The Fairy Tern Charitable Trust is trying to raise awareness and money to help this critically endangered species. Some of these birds nest and feed in Waipu and Ruakaka Wildlife Sanctuaries.
[Gallery not found]With a population of less than 40 birds including just 10-12 breeding pairs the New Zealand fairy tern Tara-iti is New Zealand’s rarest endemic breeding bird.
Around 4,000 bar tailed godwits return to Whangarei Harbour each summer after overwintering in Siberia and Alaska.¬† They fly 11,000 kms non stop to reach these shores and arrive thin and exhausted.¬† Over summer they can frequently be seen feeding at Marsden Bay, and on King Tide when other parts of the harbour are under water, they flock to the sand spit at the Ruakaka River Mouth.
It was the last day in July, I had already had a lovely walk with the dog on Uretiti Beach.¬† I arrived home and friends told me there was a whale in the Bay.
What to do – its a 10 minute drive, I had lots of work to do…¬† But how many times do you get to see a whale off shore – and a big one at that. I jumped into the car and headed down to Uretiti Camp Ground, the last place the whale had been sighted.
Word was it was the Southern Right Whale and her calf who have been of the east coast for a week or so.¬† I arrived to see it – a hundred yards or so¬† off the beach – the only problem was a commercial fishing boat was almost on top of it, circling it, and the whale was clearly distressed.¬† It soon headed back out to sea, and the fishing boat got bored and left it alone.
I met two neat people down there Emma and Gavin who are experienced boat masters and Emma has done some work with dolphin watching boats.¬† It was great to share the time watching the whale.¬† Unfortunately it appeared that perhaps the calf was no longer alive – we did not see it swimming separately, it appeared the mother was carrying it.