SERN Spring Field day 2009 - Invercargill & Environs
A trip to explore three wetland areas - two created and one restored. A turn out of almost 30 people enjoyed a look at McNeill’s Waldon Pond, east of Invercargill. It wasimpressive to see a brod of 7 scaup recently hatched showing that you create habitat and wildlife comes. The McNeill’s have put many hours into native plantings around their pond and 7ha property, starting in 2003 with basic shelter provided by gums and pines. Ribbonwod and kohuhu planted soon after are now over 3m high. Bob continues an annual planting programme, now planting in amongst the older trees which provide good shelter. At Rance’s property on Grant Rd it was interesting to compare the original pond bult in 1998 with the recent addition of 2005. With the second pond not holding water so well, it has created a different kind of wetland, with more rushy edges enjoyed by wading birds. The final stop at the Southern Wetland Trust’s Big Lagoon at Taramoa gave the group the opportunity to enjoy the large body of water, now restored to even beyond it’s original extent. As well as the main lagoon, Tony has had a number of smaller ponds excavated to the east and south, which provide good nesting and brood rearing areas for the waterfowl. Following a walk around the periphery of Big Lagoon visitors were able to view the unique collection of decoys that Tony has collected, along with the Australian waterfowl display of birds that have been seen on more than one occasion on the lagoon, having been blown over to NZ at different times.