August 12, 2016

Tempted Outdoors by a Sunny(ish) Day

Yes, the sun showed its face today. So I decided to make the most of it - to wander down the gravel road beyond the house, along the private road that runs past the ponds of the former shrimp farm, and on to the Kaipara Harbour. It's about a 30 minute walk from here to the beach, and with no people or traffic, it's a very peaceful and satisfying pastime. The only excitement on the way was when a roadworks van zoomed past with a large Fijian flag flapping out of the back window!

My plan was to see if there was any brown algae on the Kaipara harbour side. I couldn't imagine I'd find any growing there, but was curious to see if there was any sign of it washed up. I soon became distracted by many other things. In fact I didn't find any specimens of larger brown algae until I'd almost given up looking.

The harbour was very tranquil, and it was very, very low tide. This time I headed to the right (south) along the edge, where the only sounds were the distant honking of some Paradise Shelducks and the rattle of the large Purple Shore crabs scuttling deeper into and under the crevices of the large sandstone boulders as I passed them by.

The inter-tidal zone stretches a very long way on the Kaipara, or it does at South Head. The sand is mostly silver to dark grey with wavy blue-black bands of fine ironsand marking where the waves have reached at high tide. Nearer to the clay cliffs, the sand is more of a golden brown colour and where it stretches out towards the sea, it's criss-crossed with bird tracks and dimpled with the breathing holes of (I'm guessing) crabs and molluscs.

I came across two glistening gelatinous jellyfish, and have taken a stab at their genus (Aurelia), but of course I don't really know enough about most of the species (all the species?) I come across.

The other interesting thing I found was a bunch of thin pointed shells. I tentatively classified them as Tower Shells, but I'm hoping that they can be identified properly. To my untrained eyes, they look too 'nobbly' to be Tower Shells. So I'll be interested to find out what they actually are.

Even the birds were absent today. I saw a bunch of gulls, the Shelducks and a couple of South Island Pied Oystercatchers, and that was about it. When I looked more closely at the photos of one of the Oystercatchers I saw that it had a broken leg. Poor thing. I also saw nasty strings of plastic washed up at the high tide mark. Next time I visit I'll take a plastic bag for rubbish.


August sun lights up
Brown sandstone and green algae
Too bright to believe


Posted on August 12, 2016 11:59 by heni heni | 15 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 25, 2016

Kororāreka Visit

I enjoyed mucking around in the local rock pools so much that when we visited Russell over the weekend, I couldn't resist seeing what the local marine life looked like there. The tide was pretty high so I could only check out the highest of tidal pools - even so, there was plenty happening. And many of the shells are quite different from those around the South Head of the Kaipara Harbour.

Posted on July 25, 2016 03:57 by heni heni | 8 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment

July 17, 2016

Checking out Low Tide on The Kaipara

Took time this afternoon to check out the inter tidal zone. I was mainly looking for interesting looking barnacles, but found other equally interesting creatures. There are so many oysters! But I'm not sure if they are the native rock oyster or Pacific rock oysters. I'm hoping the former.

Posted on July 17, 2016 06:08 by heni heni | 9 observations | 1 comments | Leave a comment