Bird Count in Meola wetland

July 8th, 2010

On a wet Sunday afternoon 4th July I stood beneath the trees on the lava strewn hillock to the north of the Kerr Taylor Reserve to do our first 1 hour bird count for the annual Garden bird survey run by Landcare Research.

We had a slow start on the wetland. But looking south to the newly planted “habitat area” with a few meagre young native grasses planted in lawn – a group of blackbirds was hard at work. They kept me entertained for half an hour – and if the people in the brick apartments wondered who was standing under the trees looking their way with binoculars, none of them came out to find out.

A solitary chaffinch flew by, and the number of blackbirds in the open habitat area increasd to 6. A loan grey seagull wheeled overhead. A large cat slowly walked from the weir to Kerr Taylor reserve, staying dry using the boardwalk as a shelter from the rain.

With 10 minutes to go I heard singing – then louder; and a man and woman came walking south along the boardwalk in the misty rain, singing a waiata. A magical close out to the hour.

Thanks Eden Albert Community Board and Te Ngahere for the recent historic plantings of the Kerr Taylor reserve. The blackbirds certainly spent the time in the habitat area. Perhaps next year our pukeko, ducks or shags will show up in the wetland to be counted.

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