Date: Thursday 29th November
Cost: $120 non student, $90 student (includes lunch and morning tea)
Meeting place: Victoria University of Wellington, Te Toki a Rata foyer
Start time: 8:30 a.m.
End time: 4:30pm
Duration: 8 hours
Description: Visit coastal and wetland sites that form part of the Wairarapa Moana wetland complex with a focus on the birds, vegetation and conservation of these sites. This is a full day trip cirumnavigating Lake Wairarapa with three walks of 45-75 minutes each. Sites visited in the morning will include Onoke Spit on the south coast, home to dotterel, pimelea and the rare Notoreas moth, and just inland, Ponui lagoon. In the afternoon we will visit a wetland restoration site on the eastern side of Lake Wairarapa. The DoC-owned site has been restored over the past ten years by the Wairio Wetland Restoration Trust through a combination of earthworks, fencing and planting. We will walk to the bird hide and visit a 5-ha experimental block where staff and students from Victoria University have trialed different planting techniques and species combinations across 50 field plots with the goal of understanding how best to re-establish a kahikatea swamp forest. Australasian bittern, royal spoonbills, pied stilts, black swan, kingfisher and harrier are known from the area. Complimentary guiding by Te Rakau Birding.
What to bring: Please bring a water bottle (lunch and morning tea are provided). Wear sturdy footwear for walking and layered clothing to protect against rain, wind and sun: we have a good chance of encountering all three. Binoculars if you have them.