Waimakariri River, Trip #56

We had another enjoyable trip to the Waimakariri River, and finally managed to be there on a warm sunny day (27 Nov 2017). We spent less time looking for aquatic species, and more on the terrestrial creatures that are active on sunny days. Beetles One of the showiest critters we saw on this occasion were... Continue Reading →


Smacks Creek, Trip #45

One of our recent trips was to Smacks Creek. There is a project on NatureWatch for Smacks Creek, so we were able to contribute to that. The creek is a small waterway, upstream of Styx Mill wetland, that ultimately feeds into the Styx River. There is a strip of esplanade reserve along the waterway, between... Continue Reading →

Horseshoe Lake Reserve, Trip #44

Horseshoe Lake is a former meander of the Avon River, which eventually became cut off. Following the earthquakes, it has become generally wetter. We visited this site in July (2017). Below is some of what we saw. Animals We used a microscope (20-40 x magnification) to look at some of the water. There were lots... Continue Reading →

The Groynes, Trip #42

The natural parts of the Groynes include waterways and associated wetlands. The waterways include the Otukaikino Stream, and they all ultimately feed into the Waimakariri River, a short distance to the north. There are also areas of restored native bush. We visited this site in June (2017); below is some of what we saw. Birds... Continue Reading →

Avon River & Red Zone, Trip #32

Critter Club visited part of the red zone, where houses have been demolished following earthquakes. We focused on an area at the edge of the Avon river, at the eastern end of North Avon Road. The site had a mixture of habitats: aquatic (in the water) riparian (along the river edge) roadside & 'waste' places... Continue Reading →

Otukaikino Wetland, Trip #29

Otukaikino Wetland is a 13 ha remnant of wetland, to the north of Christchurch. It is being actively restored and managed by the Department of Conservation. The boardwalk through the middle of the wetland had been repaired since our previous trip. That gave us the opportunity to investigate a greater range of habitat, and to... Continue Reading →

McLeans Grassland, Trip #26

In November last year (2016) we had a trip to McLeans grasslands - West of the Christchurch airport, on Conservators Rd. The grasslands are a remnant of the dry plains grassland that used to cover much of the Canterbury Plains. They have mostly low-growing plants, along with scattered trees and shrubs. The site is is on the route of... Continue Reading →

Styx River, Trip #24

We had a trip to Styx Mill Reserve, mainly to look at the river. Below is some of what we saw. There is a project on NatureWatch to record the biodiversity at the reserve here. Our thanks to the folk at NatureWatch for help with identifications. Aquatic Site 1 The first site we sampled was a tributary... Continue Reading →

Micro-world, Trip #22

We hired a set of 10 stereo microscopes from Science Alive!, to look more closely at what we found last week in the Avon River. The microscopes magnify 20x. One of our group also has a microscope that can magnify 40x, and this was set up for taking photographs. Thanks to the magic of computers, it was possible to take what was... Continue Reading →

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