Monday, 14 August 2017


It is Orchid time of the year in the Hugh Crawford Reserve.. Here is  Spider Orchid - Corybas trilobus. There are many other native orchids in the Hugh Crawford Reserve.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Kiwi at Old Mill Ln

Every week we download videos from our camera in the bush. Every week we see kiwi. View on YouTube

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Grey Faced Petrels at Taurawhata on the Tutukaka Coast

Today's video download at the Grey Faced Petrel colony at Taurawhata on the Tutukaka Coast showed a pair changeover at the burrow being monitored by trail camera.
Follow the link below.
This really is a beautiful spot.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The new Ngunguru School Wetland Classroom

We had a second wonderful day at Old Mill Lane at the new Ngunguru School Wetland Classroom where year 3 and 4 children explored the mysteries of, and importance of wetlands. They discovered what fish we have with Hilton, birds - their calls, tracks and recognition with Dayna Davies, wetland plants and their importance with Nan Pullman and sounds and smells of the bush with Melva. Matua Rod lead them into secrets and traditions, uses and mana of trees in the bush, and Loren Hope - Ngunguru School Earth Education teacher - introduced the children to the Giants of the bush. It was another big fun day.
Below is a Facebook comment from one of the parents:-
What an awesome day spent with Ngunguru School on our field trip - learning about wetlands from the most knowledgeable people! Fantastic, and the kids lapped it up ❤️👍

Thank you Malcolm Pullman for the following photos

The Wetland Boardwalk

Matua Rod in te ngahere

Loren Hope with a group

fabulous fish

Lunch break

Dayna - Birds are exciting

Thank you Emma Jelsma for the following photos👍
One of Hilton's groups viewing bird tracks in the mud.

Matua Rod preparing a Kawakawa / Manuka brew for the children to try.

Loren Hope and a group doing and exercise about trees in the bush.

Hilton and a group with fish caught in the fish traps.

A drink for everyone from the bush.

More fabulous fish.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

New Zealand Preying Mantis

You have to like these fellows. New Zealand Preying Mantis. We have not seen one in our garden for a year or more. South African variety is has taken over even with squishing every one we see including the egg cases.
Note the purple spot and the short thorax. SA Variety - No purple spot and long thorax (8~10mm)

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Pukeko ripping up our wetland

If you were wondering what Pukeko do at night apart from screeching and chasing one another about they could be ripping up your wetland.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


Went for an evening walk with our headlamps looking for Geckos and found this lovely lady. Female Tree Weta.
Hidden away in holes in the Manuka and Kanuka during the day. Out at night to feed on foliage.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Alseuosmia Banksii (Toropapa)

The summer was great for Toropapa flowering in the Hugh Crawford Reserve. Now many are loaded with berries.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Something Has To Give - Combined Kiwi Video trying hole for size

Something has to give! This hole is at the base of a ponga. Except for the base which is clay the walls at the entrance are hard and fibrous. It looks like Kiwi will win out of sheer determination. No regard for the camera as it hurls clay at it.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Fernbirds at Old Mill Ln

Our dawn chorus is predominantly Matata. At 7:30this morning Matata (Fernbirds) were all up chirping in our wetland. This recording is from our boardwalk in Old Mill Ln. Ngunguru. Too many to count. We hear them every morning even from our house. There are so many that they have moved up the valley and can be found almost anywhere in Old Mill Ln. Click to listen

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Weekend Entertainment at Old Mill Ln

Every Saturday I download the cards from our two motion sensing cameras. Always a new entertainment. This Kiwi is  hoot. Maybe lazy. It should just get digging harder.

And then there are RATS! The Hugh Crawford DOC Reserve is a bird desert. Occasionally we hear Riroriro, Tui and Eastern Rosella. Any other time is is deathly silent. Here is why.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Boatshed Company

This friendly fellow is keeping me company in the boat shed - Black Headed Jumping Spider (Trite planiceps) It is about 20mm long

Kiwi - Darn, the hole is too small!

It looks like this female Kiwi needs to do more digging. The male, with the shorter bill wasn't interested.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017


Today while Dr Karen Verdurmen was exploring The Hugh Crawford Reserve looking for Kauri Dieback and other Kauri diseases with Ross Clark, myself and Melva, Melva spotted this Ruru Chick in what we have always thought was a Kiwi Hole. The parent was not impressed that we were there. Tomorrow I will install a Trail Camera there. 

Friday, 6 January 2017

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Berry Season

Melva grew these wonderful berries. Strawberry, raspberry and boysenberry. Desert. Summertime at The Riverbank. The wild blackberries have cropped well too.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Cabbage Tree Moth

You just have to like the antennae on this Cabbage Tree Moth we found on our carpet.

Friday, 23 December 2016

There is always something new to us

We have not seen these fellows before. We were out on our drive at 4:30am this morning waiving goodbye to a parting guest when we noticed this Black Tunnel Web Spider on the concrete. She (I think) is about 40mm across and beautiful.

The other spider seems to be a White Tail. We came inside after our guest departed and this fellow was running around the skirting board. Didn't know then that it was a White Tail. Picked it up and put it outside.

Kool critters