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Stoat behind wire with bloodied body and mouth open revealing fangs.

Stoats are savage pests

Like everywhere else in the country we have our share of pests. One to watch out for is the stoat. Some folks have had success trapping them. When I’ve spotted stoats they’ve looked very handsome. Unfortunately they’re killers. I lost several quail to one and neighbours have lost chickens. Who knows what damage they’ve done to native birds! DoC say:…

Spider webs blanket a paddock.

June is gossamer month

Kezna Cameron let me know about something that happens in June — a Gossamer Event: where spiders coat our wet land in cobwebs This is when thousands of young spiderlings climb the stalks of plants to play out silk that is caught by the breeze. This allows a spider to take to the air and disperse to new areas and…

NZ Garden Bird Survey 2022

25 June to 03 July 2022 is the week for the Garden Bird Survey. Why do we do the survey in winter? Aren’t birds less likely to be seen? And besides which, it’s freezing! Birds are active all year round, but in winter, when wild food is more scarce, they will tend to come into gardens to feed. This means…

Map showing streams.

The Strathnaver streams

An interesting thing about the Electra Outages site is their map of Waikawa Beach, which shows us the streams and drainage ditches in the area. There’s a stream that emerges from Lake Hurutini (bottom right corner of the map). It flows into the Strathnaver area, and then branches to go across Strathnaver Drive (by number 123) and into the Miratana…

Driftwood amongst the budding dunes.

Storms brought driftwood, large and small

The storms at the end of May 2022 ate away at the Manga Pirau Street beach entrance again, causing a 40 cm drop-off into driftwood. And they brought driftwood, large and small high onto the beach. It reached as far as the blue post at the beach end of the north track off Reay Mackay Grove, and into the area…

Kāpiti coastal hazard information

Kāpiti Coast District Council have just released (May 2022) a pile of Coastal science information. They say: We asked independent consultancy Jacobs New Zealand Limited to assess our district for coastal hazards, from Ōtaki in the north to Paekākāriki in the south. The assessment updates previous coastal hazard assessments of the Kāpiti Coast District shoreline. It identifies areas susceptible to…

Swell Warnings explained!

Wellington Region Emergency Management Office says: Swell Warnings explained! 🌊 For those of you who have seen the swell warnings come out and are wanted to know a bit more about how these work - take a look at this great explainer video put together by @MetService. Essentially: waves come in all different heights. To get “significant swell height” they…

On a small lake, black swans with cygnets, adults with necks craned, and a mallard duck flying splashily away.

Black Swans and their cygnets

Back on the 4th of May 2022 I spotted 'our' two black swans on the lake at the end of the road. They had 4 cygnets with them. I didn't see them again until today (23 May), and it seems they've lost one of the small flock. 

Map and graph showing effects of different combinations of climate scenarios and land subsidence.

Sea level rise and Waikawa Beach subsidence

We’ve all heard about sea level rise, but it’s also important to know that parts of Aotearoa New Zealand are subsiding, including Waikawa Beach. Add that to the sea level rise and the forecast effects become a bit different. Sea level rise isn’t uniform around the world — the science over recent years has shown that things are more complicated.

The sad state of our river for summer swimming

Horizons Regional Council, via LAWA (Land Air Water Aotearoa), test the river at the footbridge for E. Coli once per week over summer and make the results publicly available, referring to their Traffic Light System. I've now collated the results from 2016 to 2022 and have included them below. Note that start and end dates haven't always been strictly observed,…