It’s been another busy year with some great projects established and others continuing in the right direction.
We saw the final work being finished to the Onehunga Foreshore which opened to the public late last year. This is now a fantastic recreational area for locals with an area cordoned off from dogs so that Pied Stilts and Dotterels are able to nest and raise chicks there. Our volunteer team were able to swing into action to set up pest traps almost immediately.
Also, last winter heralded the beginning of another ‘start-up’ operation on Big Sand Island or Manukapua, in the Kaipara harbour in order to help our Fairy Terns. This was in partnership with The Wildlife Conservation Trust. After much pest trapping, this is now a much safer option for them and many other wading birds to choose as a nesting site. Our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Jane Ferguson will be speaking more about these projects after the AGM today.
- Balmoral Heights Reserve in Mt Eden – now a dedicated butterfly park, has seen its best year so far. We introduced the Edna Copper butterfly which will hopefully start breeding. Yellow Admirals had been seen up to late May this year and for the first time the Long-Tailed Blue butterflies came for a visit. Although a few of the stinging nettles are not doing so well and may need to be replaced, many of our other plantings are doing extremely well. We have a planting day planned here for next Saturday 4th of June at 10am. Please let me know if you are interested in helping after the meeting. We used many Easy Wasp traps in Balmoral Heights Park very early in the season to catch the Queen wasps and then all through summer. They were very effective and the introduction of the Vespex German Wasp bait in January was extremely effective. This is when the wasps take caterpillars to feed their own young and can be so very destructive.
- Pourewa in Kohimarama – Jane, Roy and volunteers carry out ongoing maintenance and weeding work here every Wednesday morning at 10am and volunteers are welcome to join them.
- Chamberlain Park in Glendowie – more planting has commenced just yesterday and this park is now looking fantastic.
- Windmill Park in Mt Eden is a project we are working on alongside the Auckland Council as another butterfly habitat. There is a planting day planned here for next Sunday 5th at 10am.
The Fieldtrips and KCC trips continue to be popular and I would like to thank all of those people who attend them as well as our team John Hally and Marguerite Pearson and their helpers who organise them.
We have two committee members resigning this year. I would like to thank Shanice Duggen-Keefe for joining us this year and she has agreed to still volunteer to help put our newsletter together. A huge thanks for this Shanice and good luck with your studies!
Angela Moon-Jones is also resigning after 4 years to pursue her photographic studies. She has mainly been in charge of selling our calendars and diaries as well as a vast number of other work behind the scenes. As she is also my wife I’m hoping some of the ‘work behind the scenes’ will continue on!!!
Lastly, I would like to thank our team on the committee as well as all of the volunteers who continue to make a positive difference to our environment and our society.
Chair, Auckland Central