The Birds of Summer

I am now sitting in my lounge, as most others in New Zealand are also in theirs, remembering the wonderful summer I had, which included a quick trip to the Rameka Carbon Forest project. At last, I have a little time to share a few photos of the amazing bird life that exists there. First of all, this is because of the hard work and generosity of so many individuals who came together to buy, build and maintain the project. There are already many great blog posts on these topics, so I’ll just add one brief thank you to all the pest control volunteers, currently Fil, Albie and Paul for providing a safe haven for the birds.

A remarkable thing about Rameka is that the bird species are so different from my home in Wellington. A visit to Golden Bay fills a gap in the bird life I don’t get to see regularly. This includes korimako (bellbird), kea and weka. Also, there are the usual friendly piwakawaka, melodious tui, and cheerful tauhou (silvereye) that we also see regularly at home across the strait in Wellington.

As always, we were greeted by the local weka when we arrived at the Lorax Lair.

As common as they are, the piwakawaka are so delightful to have following you around.

We were lucky to wake up to korimako singing every morning. They were making the most of the rata and flax flowers that were still in bloom towards the end of January.

A group of three keas visited the treetops surrounding the lair a few times during our stay We are so lucky to have one of the rarest and most intelligent species in the world living close to the project. Here’s a link to a video of one having fun with one of our traps. I think we need to set up a parrot playground to keep them entertained.

Stay safe everyone!

Carbon forest grows by over 800 trees!


One of the key goals of the Rameka Carbon Forest is to combat climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide. The best tool we have available to us for long-term carbon sequestration is a tree. They self replicate and live for a long time; some of the ones we planted live up to 700 years! So, on the 20-21 August 2016 and the following weeks we planted over 800 trees.

Thank you to everyone that came out to help! We had planters from Golden Bay, Wellington and Nelson. Then, after we left DOC donated 70 more red beech trees and 50 more rata that were planted by Cath Kelly, Peggy Leyland, and Matt.

The trees planted this year were fundraised by Ginny Wood as part of her epic cycle ride, The Tour Aotearoa! These were no ordinary trees; many were high quality trees with several years of growth to give them a head start to beat out the harsh grass, wind, and possible animal browsing. Of the 800+ trees there were pioneers species such as kohuhu, wineberry, akeake, tarata, mahoe, and five finger that will shade out grass and weeds and provide shelter for the climax species. No planting is complete without getting some climax species like rimu, miro, totara, and rata in the ground. We also planted beech, kaka beak, flax, hinau, and grisilinia to increase the biodiversity and provide food and shelter for native wildlife.


The next big project is the bridge over Rameka Creek. We are still fundraising on Give-a-Little, which closes 1 November.