Aalbert Rebergen

Joined: Feb 26, 2016 Last Active: Sep 28, 2020

I have observed and studied birds for as long as I can remember, with some botanizing on the margins.

Since 1986 I have made a (initially hardly economic) 'living' out of my hobby. First 15 or so years in mostly short-term research and monitoring contracts in Holland and New Zealand, with a strong focus on bird survey & monitoring, especially waders ('meadow birds' in Waterland and Terschelling, NL, braided river birds in Waitaki, NZ and gulls in Kaikoura, NZ); followed by full-time work in wildlife and habitat management for the Department of Conservation, Forest & Bird, QEII National Trust, BirdLife and local government.

For the past 20 years I have grown an increasing interest and knowledge of plants - finding some super-rare species and plant populations as a result - and I have always looked around for lizards, butterflies and other little critters. Frustrated not being able to identify what invertebrate I have spotted and refusing to collect specimen I have never become a serious entomologist. iNaturalist has changed all that - I still refuse to collect; but my little pocket camera compensates for that, mostly. My main interest at present is moths. For my annual dose of bird watching I go to Australia or my native "lowlands" (Terschelling, best place in the world!).

From December 2018 to November 2019 I have - almost daily - looked around my urban house in Macandrew Bay on the Otago Peninsula for Lepidoptera and other invertebrates documenting everything that I see over a period of 12 months. It has been a great adventure and so much fun. I have managed to ID (with a lot of help - thanks Brian, Neville, Stephen, Steve, Shaun, Robert and others) of over 200 different species of moths in just one calendar year on our 1000 m2 urban section. Not to mention the spiders, flies, wasps, snails and more. So much biodiversity. Amazing!

We have moved in early December 2019 to Waikouaiti, about 40 km north from Dunedin, where I will repeat this and compare. I am fortunate having a 2000 m2 mostly exotic garden, to which I am urgently adding a host of native plant species, especially species of Olearia (hectorii, gardneri, odorata, bullata etc), Muehlenbeckia and home grown rarities like Pittosporum obcordatum.

Unfortunately I have now quite a backlog of observations to enter onto iNaturalist… and am only entering the odd record on a more regular basis, while slowly catching up....

When in Holland I use iNaturalist's (excellent) equivalent called "Waarneming.nl", a site I prefer somewhat over iNaturalist….(sorry). If you are not familiar with that site check it out and compare.

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