Published on 8 April 2019

Chasing lizards on Rangitoto and Motutapu islands

Suter's Skink in Motutapu Island, April 2019.

What was supposed to be a weekend counting shorebirds at Rangitoto and Motutapu islands turned into a little lizard survey by surprise.


Published on 13 March 2019

Auckland's west coast NNZD breeding summary

Three NNZD chicks, about two weeks old. Piha, January 2019.

The breeding season 2018-2019 is over and it looks like it hasn't been bad for the west coast. As far as I know a total of 10 chicks have successfully fledged but I expect the final count to be announced at the Auckland dotterel forum next April.


Published on 26 September 2018

Improving our trapping with trail cams

Little blue penguin

During the past weeks, as little blue penguin (Eudiptula minor) and grey-faced petrel (Pterodroma macroptera) eggs started to hatch, we decided to step up our trapping game. I got my hands on a Moultrie a-20i trail camera and installed it to monitor a couple of traps in the heart of the grey-faced petrel breeding grounds here in Piha.


Published on 8 July 2018

DIY protective cover for your nesting shorebirds

Incubating adult under the protective cover

Shorebird breeding season in Aotearoa NZ is almost here and I thought it would be helpful to share some tips from previous years. Last season Sean and I had to deal with a nasty bunch of black-backed gulls here in Piha that predated the eggs of a pair of northern NZ dotterel / tūturiwhatu we were monitoring. This is what we did to prevent it from happening again.


Published on 23 April 2018

Piha's Giant Shore Anemones

Oulactis Magna

A while ago I had the pleasure to read the book "Seashores, an ecological guide" by Julian Cremona. I knew rocky shores were highly rich ecosystems but this book increased my curiosity so I decided to go exploring the rock pools down by the beach. I undusted my old compact Lumix and water case and spent a few days having a go at underwater photography as the water was quite warm (about two months ago). In the process I learned heaps, discovered species I never heard of and came across some really interesting websites.


Published on 29 September 2017

Babysitting NZ Dotterels at Piha

NZ Dotterel

A few months ago, Auckland Council advertised a volunteer position to monitor the pair of New Zealand Dotterel nesting at Piha. Since I like shorebirds and I live a few minutes away from the beach, it would have been silly not to come forward. This is what happened after.