Sweet tweets

During the lockdown earlier this year there were a lot more birds around – or so it was said. But how can we really know how the wildlife in our suburbs is doing? And what does “more birds” actually mean? More sparrows and doves may...... Read More

Mixed emotions for crew

The last couple of weeks have been a time of mixed emotions for the Hibiscus Coastguard Unit. Over the last month the Unit have had the largest number of crew in recent years moving through the Coastguard training programme and achieve operational status....... Read More

Planet month

November is the month of the planets. Seven of them making an appearance this month. Venus will be the brightest of them all, but Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all be visible to the naked eye and Uranus and Neptune visible with binoculars. Saturn...... Read More

Killer kōtare

When we moved into our new home at Arkles Bay in 2015, I did not realise that our section was already occupied by another family. A pair of kōtare (sacred kingfishers) occupied a hole in a rather nasty Phoenix palm in our garden and every summer since...... Read More

Hauturu - An accidental voyage to Eden

A glorious Labour Weekend was forecast. Our plan was to spend the night at Vivian Bay on Kawau in our 12-metre yacht and then head to Great Barrier Island on Saturday morning to join the other Sandspit Yacht Club boats. However, seeing the Coastal Classic...... Read More

Haven for lizards

New Zealand is internationally famous for its range of breeding seabirds but perhaps less well-known is that we support the most diverse range of skinks and geckos in a temperate climate. We have 106 species, without counting the closely related tuatara....... Read More

Environment - Finger-lickin’ awful

According to the “chicken nugget” theory of capitalism put forward by Raj Patel and Jason Moore, this ubiquitous processed, undefined animal morsel, is the symbol of the Anthropocene – the age in which human activity has been the dominant...... Read More

Giving birds a helping hand

Spring is here and I’ve been watching a pair of thrushes raising a family of two chicks outside my lounge window. It’s been lovely to watch the female building the nest, sitting on eggs and finally feeding the eager chicks. These fledged...... Read More

A bright red star

A question I have been asked often in recent days is what is that bright, red star in the east. If you go out in the evening, this star can’t be ignored. It is the brightest star in the east, and with its bright red colour, it is hard to miss. It...... Read More

TOSSI - Takahē taxi to new nests

During the first lockdown a planned review of the takahē performance at Tāwharanui was completed and the outcome was to move three of the taonga to different homes throughout Aotearoa. In September, the three takahē spread their wings and relocated...... Read More