Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ohiwa Spit

Ohiwa Spit

Bev introduced me to a friend of hers that has a farm and would be interested in me doing some WWOOFing. WWOOFing stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms. They don’t pay you, but in return for 4 hours of work a day, you have room and board. It’s a pretty sweet deal, but it didn’t end up working out this particular time. Ohiwa Water's Edge

Anyway, Jacqui invited me to go birdwatching with her. It was the annual birdwatching festival in Whakatane and since I had just arrived there and had never done that sort of thing before, I agreed to go along. She came to pick me up early Saturday morning (9am is early!) and we went to Ohiwa Spit. Keep in mind that a spit is a piece of land (sand dune/bank) that jutts out from the ground in a kind of peninsula. There is no protection from the elements and let me tell you, it was really, really cold!

We were welcoming the Godwits, birds that fly down from Alaska and Serbia for the season. I believe Godwits hold the world record for the longest single flight for land birds. They make the trip from Alaska to New Zealand in one week. Imagine that! Some of the birds are only 3 months old! They fatten up and then fly non-stop until they get to New Zealand.

So, we headed out to the Spit and with telescopes set up by the bird watch society, we could see them flying in. They are brown little birds with very long pointy beaks. The pictures don’t really show them well because they are too far, but the area was really beautiful and quite wild.
Driftwood and Reeds

A cold, but interesting day.

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