Recent Happenings

Kakariki - Red crowned parakeet

Kakariki sighted!

Gil Roper reports that four juvenile kakariki were heard and then sighted in Redwood Bush on Monday morning 14 November, 2022. They were seen by members of the U3A Botany group near the two huge pukatea trees, beside the stream that crosses the track in the gully between Achilles Close and Peterhouse Street. As theseContinue reading “Kakariki sighted!”

KETE group planting Oct 2022 Greenacres School

Nursery provides plants and assistance to KETE group

The nursery provided some plants (Harakeke, wineberry, Tī Kōuka and Kōtukutuku) to the KETE group on 18th October, organised by Sue Lum.  Joanne Youthead helped Sue with transporting them and laying them out at Greenacres school, with Andrew Liley to help plant. Great team effort and involvement of our local schools in improving our environment/ecosystems!

Tararua Tramping Club May 2022 Walk - morning-tea-stop

‘Beating the Bounds’ in Tawa – Tararua Tramping Club hold day walk in Tawa reserves

Photo of map showing circuit taken: Christine Whiteford On Wednesday 18 May, a group from the Tararua Tramping Club undertook a walk, circumnavigating Tawa using the various reserves. The sunny weather enabled the group to enjoy the great views as well as the vibrant flora and fauna. Leader John Allard, a resident of Tawa forContinue reading “‘Beating the Bounds’ in Tawa – Tararua Tramping Club hold day walk in Tawa reserves”

Red matipo leaves Forest of Tawa June 2022

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Myrsine australis, red matipo, māpou, māpau

Source of names: ‘Ma’ = free of tapu, ‘pou’ = stick. Young plants are used for ceremonial purposes such as karakia. Special Features an endemic shrub growing up to 6m tall, they are very obvious because of their young reddish-brown stems that bear pale green leaves that have a leathery texture and wavy edges leavesContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Myrsine australis, red matipo, māpou, māpau”

Kakariki - Red crowned parakeet

Kākāriki frequently heard and sighted in Redwood Bush

Kākāriki or red-crowned parakeets are one of three species of endemic parakeets found in NZ. The name means ‘small green parrot’ because of their predominantly green plumage. They make a loud rapid chatter in flight and also chatter and babble when feeding. Such sounds have been regularly heard, especially at the north end of RedwoodContinue reading “Kākāriki frequently heard and sighted in Redwood Bush”

hangehange

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Geniostoma ligustrifolium var. ligustrifolium,  Hangehange, Māori privet

A common shrub up to 3m high, it is commonly found at the edge of bush and along the tracks. Leaves are oppositely positioned along the slender, brittle stems. The oval, elongated and soft, shiny lettuce-green leaves have ‘drip tips’ at the end. Source of names: Genus: genio = hairy and stoma = mouth. TheContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Geniostoma ligustrifolium var. ligustrifolium,  Hangehange, Māori privet”

Tawa Community Award March 2022

FOTBR receives Tawa Community Civic award

FOTBR was one of the recipients of this award in the ‘Heritage and Environment’ category. Owing to Covid-19 restrictions, an awards ceremony will not take place, but people have been notified and recipients listed on the Tawa Community Board Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/tawacommunityboard The voluntary work undertaken by FOTBR, included: the development of a new walkingContinue reading “FOTBR receives Tawa Community Civic award”

Mahoe

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Melicytus ramiflorus, māhoe, whitey wood

This is one of the most common sub-canopy trees in the Tawa native bush reserves. Source of names: Genus Melicytus. From Greek ‘meli’ = honey and ‘kytos’ = hollow container. It refers to the staminal nectaries of the flowers. (‘honey cave’). Species = ramiflorus meaning flowers are borne from branches. Māhoe. ‘Ma’ = shame, ‘hoe’Continue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Melicytus ramiflorus, māhoe, whitey wood”

stinkhorn fungus stinkhorn fungi /starfish/sea anemone saprotrophic fungi

Tentacled stinkhorn fungi in Redwood Bush

Previously recorded in Redwood Bush in 2019, these were observed by Gil in December 2021. The stinkhorn/starfish/sea anemone saprotrophic fungi are seasonal and usually reddish-orange in colour. They grow on rotting wood and emit a foul-smelling odour to attract flies which enables dispersal of their spores. The slimy, brightly coloured fruiting bodies emerge from anContinue reading “Tentacled stinkhorn fungi in Redwood Bush”

Tree fuchsia, kōtukutuku

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – tree fuchsia, kōtukutuku

Reputed to be the largest fuchsia in the world it grows up to 15m. The Genus name Fuchsia is from the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs, (1501- 1566). The species name excorticata means ‘loose barked’ while tukutuku means ‘letting go’, so both names refer to the peeling bark. It is an ‘oddball’ NZ native tree becauseContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – tree fuchsia, kōtukutuku”

A rat taking the bait

Below are some photos, taken from a trail camera, of a rat taking some bait from a possum bait station. As an essential part of the pest control program, it’s great to have some visibility of these stations in action. Unfortunately rats are very good at climbing trees and stealing the eggs of our belovedContinue reading “A rat taking the bait”

Wilf Mexted Reserve Thread fern pānako growing up a tree

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Thread fern – pānako

Blechnum filiforme or Icarus filiformis or pānako or thread fern is the most common, but unusual ground fern in the Tawa reserves. Its unusual features are that it is the only climbing species of Blechnum in New Zealand and it has three different types of fronds – juvenile, adult sterile and adult fertile. Blechnum speciesContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Thread fern – pānako”

kereru in a kowhai

What do Kererū eat in Winter?

There is minimal seed and fruit available from native trees in winter. Kererū frequently supplement their diet by consuming tree lucerne and young kowhai leaves which are both high in protein. Also when these plants are flowering, kererū take nectar from flowers. These birds are vital for dispersing the seed of large fruiting trees suchContinue reading “What do Kererū eat in Winter?”

Kawakawa

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kawakawa

Piper excelsum (Kawakawa) Piper = pepper and excelsum = tall. Kawa = bitter. A few metres high in lowland bush, kawakawa is endemic to NZ. Recognition features of kawakawa: heart-shaped leaves with a palmate vein pattern leaf petiole is flattened at the base leaves often have holes, caused by a nocturnal looper caterpillar male andContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kawakawa”

Completed lower track in the Forest of Tawa/Te Ngahere-o-Tawa

During June and July, WCC contractors undertook significant work, developing a new track, finally compacting the surface to enable stability of the surface. During this work, some windfall pine trees were cut, while native tree seedlings were repositioned near the track. Throughout the process, John Burnet and Andrew Liley maintained a watchful eye on proceedingsContinue reading “Completed lower track in the Forest of Tawa/Te Ngahere-o-Tawa”

Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kohekohe trees in winter

This is sometimes called ‘the funkiest tree’ in our native bush, with its white flowers in winter that grow directly from the trunk. The flowers provide a nectar source for tūī and korimako (bellbirds) at a time when other food is not as abundant. In some years, a strong sweet aroma is evident in theContinue reading “Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kohekohe trees in winter”

Forest of Tawa Ferns black mamaku

Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Mamaku or Ponga?

Two of our most common NZ tree ferns, are both prevalent in the Tawa native bush reserves. Mamaku Our tallest tree fern, reaching up to 20m, mamaku (black tree fern/Cyathea medullaris) has distinctively black, scale covered koru as the fronds unfurl.The fronds extend up to 5m and can be as thick as a human armContinue reading “Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Mamaku or Ponga?”

Kanono male flowers

Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kanono

Kanono or Coprosma autumnalis –—- previously named C. grandifolia –—- Kanono is a common shrub, up to 6m found in shady, damp and sheltered parts of all the native bush reserves in Tawa. Recognition features of kanono: plants are dioecious (have separate male and female plants). Male flowers have dangling stamens that produce pollen while female flowersContinue reading “Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kanono”

Possum capture 24 June 2021 South Tawa Motorway Interchange

A possum caught

Andrew Liley reports a possum capture in a Pest Free Tawa trap Andrew advises this possum was caught in a Pest Free Tawa trap he maintains close to the south Tawa motorway interchange – great catch Andrew! “I had just reset and rebaited my three traps on 23rd June before the level 2 announcement and was passing oneContinue reading “A possum caught”

A further stoat

In his role as Pest Control Coordinator, Denis Rogerson reports another stoat capture, but this time in Mexted Reserve, in May 2021. Great to see this work being so effective. Our precious native birds will be so much better off for one less powerful predator out there. Awesome work. You can read more about stoatsContinue reading “A further stoat”

Propagation Unit May 2021 Carol and James

Nursery in action May 2021

The latest working bee in the new nursery involved potting up flaxes. With 125 flax plants in PB3’s with this awesome effort the second shade-house is being put to great use. Carol Andrews, Joanne Youthed and James Wright seen here potting up flax seedlings and watering them. Thanks to Ross Denton who supplied timber forContinue reading “Nursery in action May 2021”

Redwood bush track

Delighted with Redwood Bush

Below is an excerpt of some very happy feedback from a Tawa resident, relating their special experiences over the years with Redwood Bush – their ‘bit of paradise’ “… I am very impressed by some of the improvements made to our track through the Tawa Redwood Bush. I have walked the track every day, rainContinue reading “Delighted with Redwood Bush”

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