Last weekend as I was cycling in to Collingwood, I startled a bird feeding in the drain near the Aorere bridge. I was unable to identify it, other than as a heron with a short neck – some kind of night-heron. I am now reasonably sure, after considerable research, that what I saw was the juvenile form of the Nankeen night-heron. This bird is self-introduced from Australia and the adult plumage is spectacular. The juvenile is a mottled brown, and it has large yellow eyes. For a photo of this bird see: http://www.treknature.com/gallery/Oceania/Australia/photo179462.htm
I don’t know what happened to my blogs from January and February – it appears there has been a problem uploading tham and they have vanished into cyberspace. To recap: At the end of December we had the biggest floods on the Aorere river for more than 150 years. This resulted in the river changing course and considerable damage to a number of houses, some of which now sit empty. Two bridges were washed away, one of which was the historic Salisbury bridge – shown below. We at Twin Waters Lodge were largely unaffected apart from roads being blocked by flooding for several hours, and people unable to leave.
We have been unaffected by either of the Christchurch earthquakes – Christchurch is hundreds of kilometres distant and we didn’t even feel the shakes. Nevertheless, we all know someone who has been affected and our hearts go out to the people of Christchurch.