Our world of nature

Incredible sightings, trappings & suburban mysteries…

Good things come to those who wait. With reports of a rare white piwakawaka appearing around the Pātea River in Stratford the last few months have seen a number of local enthusiasts attempting to capture shots of the bird in action. Guy Vickers was one such photographer, spending an hour or two each day for weeks of lockdown in the bush waiting for his chance. In May his patience paid off – with some beautiful photography to show for it.

Wellington’s special effects. Piwakawaka weren’t the only incredible sights from lockdown. In Wellington’s central suburb of Kelburn photographer Holly Neill captured some simply stunning shots of a white tauhou (waxeye).  What an incredible world we live in!

Who else did this? Toby Morris has become a bit of a legend for many Kiwis with The Side Eye, his regular comic on The Spinoff website. Each instalment gets to the heart of an issue with grace, wisdom and occasional gentle humour – and his latest is no different. Trust us, this is a big one for all dog owners and those who lived through the late 80s in New Zealand. And yes, it’s a common clickbait approach but what you read will shock you! Click here.

Trapping success. Another win for nature! The kakī/black stilt is the world’s rarest wading bird, with just a couple of dozen of these beautiful natives alive in the not too distant past. That’s changing with a huge trapping effort undertaken within the Canterbury habitat of the stilt. Thanks to over 2100 traps set across 60,000 hectares the critically endangered bird is rising again. In 2019 the population was estimated at 132 adults. In 2020 a population survey found 169 kakī in the Mackenzie Basin.

Stay safe everyone. Let’s celebrate Level 2 of lock down being over but do so in a sensible manner. It’s always great to see your friends again but, please, try not to slobber all over them…


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