1 June 2022
Recently we have offered a dusk tour of the Tautari wetlands. On Saturday Sue Reid and Liz Schollum guided seven visitors, two children, and five adults. Sue went down to the wetlands first, to see where the takahē were, while Liz told the story of the fence and the wetland ecology. We all met up at the gate, walked to the right, and there they were!
The visitors all really enjoyed the experience of simply watching and listening to the takahē. We walked down by the stream, followed by the takahē (they recognise Sue’s voice), before making our way to the tuatarium. After showing and talking about the unique features of tuatara, as well as telling the story of the gift from Ngāti Koata, we went tuatara hunting, using the red light torches. Four tuatara were seen.
Twilight adds a unique dimension to visiting Tautari, seeing and hearing the dusk chorus and seeing bats flitting about. We heard the cry of a spotless crake, identified by Sue. Another unique experience and, interesting point, it is also a member of the rail family as are the takahē. Overall the visitors were engaged and participated fully.
We intend to add this new tour as a regular to our guided tour suite at the start of Spring.
From Liz Schollum and Sue Reid