Friday, 23 April 2010

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

By Sue Hensley

Twenty five South Island robins/toutouwai were released over a three
day period in early April. They have proven very difficult to find but
thanks to eagle-eyed walkers who not only saw but recorded the colour
bands, we know at least some have found their new home to their
liking.
Dr Ian Jamieson will be talking about the robin and saddleback
translocations on May 2. Another talk with a bird theme will be given
on May 5 by ornithologist Derek Onley who will explain the data from
the first five years of bird counts in Orokonui. Both talks will be at
2pm at the Visitor centre, $5 entry fee. All proceeds go to the
protection of robins and saddlebacks.
Ill health has delayed the upgrade of the Valley track and a mid to
end May public opening date is now envisaged, which will be before
gravelling work is completed. Thanks to the Rotary Club of Dunedin for
their financial and hands-on contribution to this long and challenging
project.
Some of you may have enjoyed the exquisite perfume of the Easter
orchid. Flowering has been very late this year in Orokonui so should
still be out early to mid May. It's worth a visit just for the smell
but bring a hand lens and enjoy a look into the complex arrangement of
an orchid flower. There are some interesting lichens too to check out
on the way to the orchid
site.
The visitor centre and café are open every day between 9.30am and
4.30pm. The Centre is free to explore as is the Pa Harakeke walk (flax
plantation) and the 9km perimeter track. We have a Facebook page as
well as a website - www.orokonui.org.nz - to keep you up to date.


Orokonui Ecosanctuary, sue.hensley@gmail.com


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