One of the things I realised doing the Camino was that a major 'love of my life' is walking outdoors ;-) And I have just joined Forest & Bird to do some more of that.
This morning I joined a group to walk at Moana Roa, down Parewanui Rd from Bulls. We walked in the sandy area just inland from the beach, until we reached the estuary where the Rangitikei River arrives at the sea. The great thing about going with F&B is that there are real experts who tend to go with you. Today our leader, Viv, was someone who had a lot of knowledge about coastal plants. She pointed out the native convolvulus (pictured).
She also knew a lot about where katipo live. She searched under a few likely looking small logs, and pointed out some nests to us. Then someone, using what we had just learned about their habitat, turned over another small log.... and hey presto, we were viewing a real live katipo, complete with a bold red stripe on its back! You can find out more in this local DOC report, and on the Te Papa website
And Viv also had a photo of a banded dotterel so we could look out for them. It wasn't long before we saw one.... though they blended in superbly with the stones and dunes. You can see a wonderful photo of one on this website.