The Muriwai gannet colony in one of three mainland gannet colonies in New Zealand. The origin of the colony at Muriwai began on the island of Oaia, just off the coast where gannets first established nesting sites in the early 20th century.
I need not tell you how excited I was to visit some friends residing in one of the only places in the world where I could get to see the world’s most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered amphibian species, the Archey’s Frog.
We were lucky enough to meet the Mahoenui giant wētā on this expedition. The story behind the endangered Mahoenui giant wētā is an interesting one. The Mahoenui giant wētā was long considered extinct on the mainland, until it was rediscovered in 1962 .
Recently, whilst weeding one of these gardens in residential Whanganui, we came across this beautiful centipede. It was about 4cm in length, and bared its forcipules AKA ‘fangs’ when we disturbed it under a log in the flowerbed. The blue antennae were stunning, so we took the chance for a quick photo-shoot.
Working with greenhood orchids from the genus Pterostylis was an interesting experience for me. Most of my paid and voluntary encounters with wildlife have, historically, been with those of the animal kingdom. So, it was about time that I helped survey some of our greener kin.
On a recent exploit to Bushy Park, Whanganui, we heard, and consequently hunted down two New Zealand falcon (karearea) perching high up in a tree amongst the epiphytes. This was a first for me and a great chance to get some photographs.
Now that I am in New Zealand, I’ve been looking out for kingfishers. I often hear a ‘keh-keh-keh’ as I go about my daily business, and even see the silhouette of New Zealand kingfishers perching, at height, on telegraph wires near waterways.
At Bushy Park, despite knowing that hihi have used natural cavities before, no nests in natural cavities have actually been found. That is why, when walking through the bush on Wednesday, we were very excited to spot a female hihi emerge from a hole in a tawa tree.