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 →

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 →

Brooklands Lagoon, Trip #15

Brooklands Lagoon is northeast of Christchurch and has tidal mudflats surrounded by salt marsh. Beyond the salt marsh there are sand dunes. We visited the mid-west edge, via Earlham Road. Animals Many birds use the area. On this trip we noticed pied stilts, black swans, shags, swallows, a kingfisher and several Australasian harriers. There was evidence of... Continue Reading →

Otukaikino Wetland, Trip #14

We had an enjoyable trip to Otukaikino Wetland last week. The boardwalk through the middle was flooded, but there is still good access to much of the site. Animals We saw some aquatic insects, including water boatmen and ripple bugs (similar to one of our Travis Wetland trips). There were also many small midge-like insects flying about... Continue Reading →

Avon-Heathcote Estuary (Trip #4)

We visited the Avon-Heathcote Estuary, near the mouth of the Avon River, at low tide. We explored the area adjacent to South New Brighton Park, at the West end of Ebbtide St. Here is some of what we found. Anemones There were several mud flat anemones: Aquatic Snails We saw several different kinds, and also lots of tracks.... Continue Reading →

Field Trip #3, Travis Wetland

We visited Travis Wetland this week, focusing on the area around the Bird Hide. We did some pond-dipping in the waterway, and searched under the canopy in the planted forest area near the hide. Clockwise from top left: Nursery web spider (Dolomedes minor) and one of their nursery webs, giant willow aphid (Tuberolachnus salignus), Cosmopolitan... Continue Reading →

Field Trip #1, Travis Wetland

Today was our first official trip, and 3 families visited the north-west corner of Travis Wetland. We looked in some areas of willow woodland and passed an area of remnant kanuka. We also saw a lot of open wetland, dominated by rushes and sedges, as seen below.   Here are some of the invertebrates we saw: The... Continue Reading →

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