24 September 2022

It was a partly cloudy morning with very little wind. We began the day by offering flower tributes to those who have recently died on the trip to Kaikoura. Steve, our guide, led us all around the estuary, pointing out the many variety of birds as we went. I couldn’t believe the number that we saw. Here is the list: Australasian shoveler, Australian coot, Banded dotterel, Bar tailed godwit, Black backed gull, Black billed gull, Black fronted tern, Black shag, Black swan, Grey teal, Little shag, Masked lapwing, New Zealand scaup, Paradise shelduck, Pied shag, Pied stilt, Pukeko, Red billed gull, Royal spoonbill, Sacred kingfisher, South Island Pied Oystercatcher, Swamp harrier, Variable oystercatcher, Welcome swallow, White faced heron, White fronted tern, White Heron, Wrybill. There are far mightier braided rivers in Canterbury, but it is easy to see why the modestly sized Ashley-Rakahuri is a taonga of a value disproportionate to its size.

A special thank you to Steve Attwood our guide for the day. He was extremely knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour.

Thank you to Eric Livingstone for arranging this trip.

Peter Dini.