The Toheroa Twist

In January this year, Tom and I ventured down to the bottom of New Zealand for an ecology contract surveying Toheroa. We were there to count and measure these shellfish on Oreti Beach, near Invercargill, in a effort to estimate the population and age distribution. They were an interesting species to work with considering their place…

Booby Trapped

To see this individual was remarkable. Not just because it is the only known bird to have ever landed on mainland New Zealand, but because, by chance, we managed to stumble onto its location before its seaward departure at sunrise.

A Guest Among Gannets

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.

World’s Heaviest Insect: Hunt for the Giant Wētā

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 .

A Native New Zealand Centipede

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.

New Zealand Falcon in Bushy Park

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.

New Zealand’s Sacred Kingfisher

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.