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 →


Avon-Heathcote Estuary & Southshore Spit, Trip #40

The South Brighton Spit separates the Avon-Heathcote Estuary from the Pacific Ocean. The end of the spit (the part with no houses) is quite a recent geological feature - outline maps show how the end has changed since the 1940's, see here. On this trip we looked briefly at an area of salt marsh on... 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 →

Settlers Reserve, Lower Heathcote River, Trip #30

Recently (27 March 2017) we visited Settlers Reserve, which is a saltwater wetland in the lower reaches of the Heathcote River. The reserve is at the lower end of the Heathcote river, but the main influence on the wetland is saltwater, which enters via the Avon-Heathcote Estuary. The mudflats are tidal. The species here are noticeably different from... 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 →

Southshore Beach, Trip #27

Our last trip of 2016 was to Southshore Beach, at the southern end of Marine Parade. Below is some of what we saw. Animals Beetles (Coleoptera) Chafer beetle This small (beautiful!) beetle was settled on a stem of marram grass. Sand scarab These beetle larvae were found buried in the sand. We have found similar ones... Continue Reading →

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