This week we again feature words and a picture from Louise Thomas, who recently ventured to Whanganui.
"The Chief Porter and I have been hunting the Nankeen Night Heron for some time. Randomly calling into Ūpokongaro to the spot “Behind the Door on 4” where others before us have clocked the birds, but, for us, with no success. On Monday we were crest fallen to find the café shut, but thought we would head a little way up Makirikiri Valley Road and drop down into the gulley and scout along the stream that runs into the Whanganui River at Ūpokongaro.
The recent rain had made the stream brown and swollen, water was lapping up onto the shelf with the slight track covered in wandering willy (tradescentia). It was wet, slippery, and muddy and our pants were wet up to the knees just walking through the undergrowth. We were buzzed by fantails and wax-eyes, but saw nothing of the night herons behind the area where the café is.
We pushed a little further upstream, straddling rotten logs which crumbled under our feet and slipping in the thick wet weed. I was about to call time of death on the operation, when the Chief Porter spotted a creamy patch against the dark tangled trees overhanging the stream. It was like magic, three night herons materialised from the gloom, their bodies glowing like warm rich butterscotch.
All three had slicked back black hair, but one roosting in the tree, hunched over like an old man, also had two long thin white feathers waving down his back like crazy antennae. One was actively hunting in the stream, pulling at aquatic plants in the hope they might be tasty, the other perched above and moved along the branches quoorking encouragement about the activities below. Nankeen night heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)."
“Our portable bed provides a convenient and cost-effective way to access your own fresh produce within your own home,” says Charla Stretch, the CEO of Vitanic, the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) company set up by five students from Tokoroa High School.
This week we feature two guinea pigs.
"We were bought to SPCA because our family could no longer care for us. We are now looking for a home together. Eddie and Valerie are sweet guinea pigs who love their food.
We are very sweet to watch, and are getting better at being handled, but we really don't like it, like most guinea pigs. We will need a large grassy area with a weatherproof hutch for day time. At night, we will need to be inside with you as part of your family so will need an area inside your home. It will need to be large enough for us to fit comfortably for the night, or for days when the weather is just too awful to be outside in. If that sounds like your set-up, please get in touch with our Small Animal Team for an appointment."
These large invasive birds are a problem in the Wellington region because they eat and destroy newly germinated seedlings, which sometimes means entire crops need to be re-sown.
We need to protect our region’s environment and economic wellbeing from damage, which is why we aim to remove rooks from our region by 2029.
Find out more about Rooks here - www.gw.govt.nz...