Environment - Love a duck

Every May, the mallard ducks return to my valley, doing the rounds between my garden through to the neighbours’ ponds and pools. Mallards are homebodies. Research from the New Zealand Fish and Game Council concerning the tagging of mallards found...... Read More

Winter revelations

As we move from autumn towards winter, the skies above us change. Orion, who dominates the summer skies is moving off and is now setting in the early evening. Following Orion, the “Dog Star”, Sirius, is also moving out of our night skies....... Read More

Environment - No more landfills

The public has until May 26 to make a submission on Waste Management’s proposed new landfill in the Dome Valley. Kevin Smith, managing director of The Board, which represents waste-to-energy company USGIS in New Zealand, insists there are better...... Read More

Hauturu - Under lockdown

Life on Te Hauturu-o-Toi during lockdown was in many ways little different from normal daily life on the island. The rangers and family on the island usually lead isolated lives. Visitors must have a permit to land and at times they can keep the rangers...... Read More

Liberating lockdown

In the 2007 book The World Without Us, author Alan Weisman considers what happens when human impact is no longer imposed on nature. He visits Chernobyl, the Korean Demilitarised Zone and Cyprus’s deserted no-man’s-land. In these places of...... Read More

Lockdown au naturel

In the absence of people, cars and surfboards, we envisage Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary is being overrun with curious kiwi, territorial takahē and wise wētā. During the Covid-19 lockdown, TOSSI volunteers and the general public must stay away from the...... Read More

War on weeds

Pest weeds are often the ones that produce thousands of tiny seeds borne on the wind or dropped by birds. Some seem to be able to thrive under any conditions, even surviving digging out or spraying with weed killer. Many weeds are garden escapees that...... Read More

Environment - Eve of destruction

2020 started with an existential bang. Catastrophic bushfires, drought, international undiplomatic brinkmanship and now COVID-19. It’s felt like we’ve ticked off the full apocalyptic list. The yellow smoke-filled skies in January made us realise...... Read More

Watch out for robins

After a long hot summer I’m looking forward to some cooler weather and a bit of rain. I’m not alone in this. A lot of our birds are finding pickings a bit thin and the Wenderholm hillsides are dotted with browning taraire trees, which struggle...... Read More

Internet satellites could fill the skies

One of the most common questions I recently get from those on the Coast is: “what are those Starlink train satellites we see at night?” If you go out in the early evening, just after sunset, you may look up and see a number of lights travelling...... Read More