Dotterels stage a come back

Twenty-four New Zealand dotterel chicks fledged this season at Tawharanui, the most since the Sanctuary was established 16 years ago. Although the chick numbers are highest, the adult:chick ratio was lowered due to the fact that the pair numbers increased...... Read More

Brilliant bird

When our old cat died and wasn’t replaced, the birds returned to our garden. This included a pukeko clan. I’ve loved them ever since. I admire pukekos’ attitude – their  courage – and that they considered my garden part...... Read More

Challenges for hatchlings

Volunteering at Shakespear Open Sanctuary always goes quiet over the summer break, but the throng of visitors escaping the heat more than made up for it. Some days, Te Haruhi bay looked as busy as a beach in the South of France. The birdlife has been...... Read More

Coasts under attack

The best way to celebrate summer is to go to the beach. We’re lucky in Rodney and the wider Auckland region to have some of the best beaches and coastal areas in the country. The water’s warm, and the beaches are sandy, tree-lined, sheltered...... Read More

Iconic kauri in trouble

Kauri dieback disease has pushed our forests to a tipping point and what we do now will determine their fate. To lose kauri means losing the whole forest ecosystem because it is a keystone species upon which 17 other species depend. The fact that we...... Read More

Takahe success

The takahe are doing well at Tawharanui Regional Park and providing support for the national takahe recovery group, together with lots of interest for park users. To date, we have 14 adult birds on the park and one chick. Last year’s chick was...... Read More

Cultivating Christmas

My Christmas escape plan will help you to cultivate wonder in the natural world. If your Christmas includes the luxury of lying back in the hammock in a shady part of your garden with a book, here are some ideas. Even if the reading will only take place...... Read More

Flying goats in the gulf

Here in Rodney, the natural world provides signals that tell us that summer is on its way – for example, cabbage trees in full flower abuzz with bees, pohutukawa in bud (in some places already breaking out in flower), garden and bush birds actively...... Read More

Shameful food waste

Even basic food items seem expensive. The household grocery shop takes up a significant portion of a domestic budget, yet we waste an eighth of the food we buy. We leave food until it’s too old to eat, we don’t eat everything on our plates,...... Read More

Battling bugs

Like many people these days, although I’m not strictly organic, I prefer not to use chemical sprays in my garden, particularly on any plants that produce edible fruit or foliage. One significant drawback of not using chemicals, is that timing of...... Read More