We had a gorgeous hot day for our Taumarumaru Reserve walk at Coopers Beach.
On the walk there:
- We identified invasive weeds and observed how these weeds took over (gorse, lantana, woolly nightshade/tobacco weed, wild ginger). Instead of a wide variety of plants there were 3-4 invasive weed species over a large land area; there was low diversity.
- However, it was awesome to see the tops of tī kōuka/cabbage trees and manuka poking up through a few areas, and some of us wondered if perhaps we could come back and help with clearing some weeds to make way for native regeneration. I will get in touch with Kaitiaki Taumarumaru if this is something we would like to get involved with.
At the rocky shore:
- We had a huge surprise….. an octopus in a rock pool!!! It was camouflaged to look like the rocks it was hiding amongst. Some of us watched it eating a crab, and it even reached an arm out to stroke our hand.
- In the rock pools: we also saw sea stars, cockabully, and the glass shrimp tickled our toes when we dipped them in the rock pools.
- We saw a kōtare (kingfisher), a red billed gull, but we wondered if most of the shore birds were out fishing!!
- We also saw a kāruhiruhi/pied shag sitting on the rocks and I have learned that these birds do not have waterproof feathers, so they have to dry their feathers out on shore after going fishing! (https://www.doc.govt.nz/documents/conservation/marine-and-coastal/fishing/fishers-guide-nz-seabirds.pdf )
- At the top of a big rock a few of us found fish scales and other sea creature remnants. We thought this looked like a bird had been bringing food back to eat here….we don’t know what seabird does this but we will try to find out.