February 1, 2015 … marooned for the day

That was a great day.


The last of our group comes ashore on Mana before the boat maroons us for the day.

Our camera club has a number of special interest groups, and the one specialises in landscapes is particularly active. Yesterday the group chartered a boat and twenty-seven of us went from Paremata across to Mana Island.


A pause while climbing the hill to take in both oxygen and the splendid view to the North

Most Wellingtonians are familiar with the flat-topped island offshore from Whitireia Park at Titahi Bay. It looks steep-sided but unremarkable. There are indeed some steep walls up to the plateau and I was breathing quite hard as we climbed. I was happy to take a few moments to construct a panorama on the way up.


A sea mist seems to surround Kapiti Island

Mana is not as large, nor as well covered with bush nor does it have quite the biodiversity of the larger Island, Kapiti, to the North. Unlike Kapiti, there is sufficient flat land on Mana that it was farmed for many years. It is in very recent years that it has been designated a predator-free reserve, and there has been a determined programme to re-establish native bush and to provide safe habitat for many endangered birds, skinks and geckos.

Wind farm

The West Wind wind farm on the hills above Makara

To the South the two wind farms, Mill Creek and West Wind can be seen clearly, though the day was so calm that the distant blades were just ticking over.


Takahe. That bill looks as if it could open tin cans

Of course, I mentioned birds, and there is considerable variety on the island, including whiteheads, tui, fairy prions, yellow-crested kakariki, tui, robins and a variety of seabirds. But best of all, the “back from extinction but still critically endangered” Takahe  (Porphyrio hochstetteri) is breeding on the island. There are now about 275 in the world. It is the largest living member of the rail family, and it weighs in at up to 4.2 kg. It is flightless,  so on an island this small there is a good chance of encountering one.


Takahe chick. What big feet you have.

We followed the outermost and longest of the several trails on the island for a total of over 7 km and arrived under clear skies and a hot sun back at the shoreline in plenty of time for the boat. To our great delight, some of us saw a takahe chick with its mother.


Cruising sting ray. This was perhaps 2 metres across and it was amazing how quickly it moved with so little disturbance

By now the sun was really heating us up so we clung to the shade but some of us got excited when we saw the tips of the wings of some quite large sting-rays cruising by at the water’s edge.

Tired but happy.


About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
This entry was posted in Animals, Birds, Landscapes, Mana Island, Maritime, Paremata, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to February 1, 2015 … marooned for the day

  1. nzvideos says:

    I think you were very lucky to have seen a Takahe chick, I experienced a number of adult Takahe on Tiritiri Matangi island, but never a chick. Thank you.

  2. Toya says:

    Great shots, I didn’t get to see the takahae – you were lucky! Not sure about that first image tho lol.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s