Bird watching bonusmussell buoy

Motueka Sandspit – Sunday 30 July 2017

We started at 8:30 from Richmond and drove to the Saltwater Baths at Motueka. 16 people lined up in a cold wind and there was a bit of a wager between Colin and Julian as to if a mussel buoy would be found. 13 of the group stayed on the high path in the wind while three of us enjoyed it out of the breeze on the beach to start out. On hitting the spit the bird watcher Noelene made mention it would be better when the migratory birds are there in October maybe something for next trip planning. Morning tea was shortly after at 10am on the start of the spit, this is a must when Pat the matriarch is present.

As we walked we noted there is a lot of erosion and almost a complete breach halfway along the spit. By this time the wind had eased and our last stretch to the end revealed the mussel buoy and some lovely little banded dotterels. The end of the spit had shags, gulls and we also saw spoonbills, terns, oystercatchers and stilts on the trip. We did not linger too long and just as well because we returned to the breach to find the tide pushing through but we all got across with a bit of piggybacking for some with shoes. Lunch was warm and as was mentioned the trip allowed us to be more social and everyone enjoyed lunch and a good chinwag. Everyone wandered off the spit while Rob got a bit more exercise dragging his buoy behind him to finish about 2:45. Toad Hall made a nice finish in the warmth where we continued the social side over coffees and ice creams. A great group which included Maria, Rob, Pat, Noelene, Jill, Julian, Diane, Val, Anna, Vanessa, Colin, Jenni, Chris, Jo, Donell and Dale.                                                                                                                                                                     Rob