|2016 Nature Highlights|
My best nature experiences of 2016 included several weeks worth of volunteer citizen science projects: monitoring lizards and helping with a fairy prion translocation, checking pest traps, doing bird counts, and a spot of weeding.
When I wasn't volunteering, I encountered some special wildlife while tramping in the North and the South Islands, while visiting nature sanctuaries and in my own backyard.
Somehow I also found time to write some children's books about nature and take part in literary festivals.
Not all moments get captured nicely in a photograph. Here are some nature highlights that I recorded in my diary:
First time for me - seeing a fern bird at Lake Rotokare, seeing gold stripe geckos by torchlight in the flax bushes on Mana Island, seeing a Giant Petrel up close while helping with its rescue at the beach.
Strangest sights - in our garden, a juvenile tui trying to sit in an old fantail nest (the nest was a tad on the small side!), at the beach, red-billed gulls trying to perch with their webbed feet in coprosma trees to eat the berries.
Picture above: clockwise from top left: skink monitoring, fairy prion feeding, flax weevil on Mana Island. blue duck (whio) on Blue Lake, Nelson Lakes, oystercatcher (torea) at home, takahe at Orokonui Sanctuary, NZ sea lions near Dunedin, North Island robin in Whanganui National Park (toutowai)