First Observations for iNat from Te Werahi Area

There are many areas in Aotearoa that do not have obs recorded in this site, usually due to accessibility or the fact that they are not located close to a large city, and Te Werahi is one such place. Located on the north western corner of the North Island, bounded by the Tasman Sea and dunes reaching 100m height, this wild, windswept location takes effort to get there, but is worth it.


Within this area there is a small island called Taupiri and in the 1990's seed was collected from kahikatoa / manuka that grew there. At the time, it was thought that these low growing plants were because of the windswept environment. However, when the seeds were grown, away from the rugged coast, they still grow as a low growing creeper - what was going on here? Is this an undescribed species or something - dare I say it - strange?

On Sep 29 2019 @pjd1 and Theo decided to go there to see if they could gather specimens and naturally they stayed with me :D. We planned the day and I casually mentioned to @indeynz about going there and he immediately wanted to come, offering to carry my gear in return. Well, how could I say no when I had someone to carry my dive boots as we all know those are a priority :D Didn't try and push my luck and get my wetsuit carried as well *LOL*

We walked 3kms from the Te Werahi gate, through a paddock, dropping to a swamp then up through scrub and then down the dunes to the beach. From there it was a hard slog up the 100m high dunes , but along there I could easily see the moana, the tide was on it's way out, and calling to me.

So we decided to split, with indynz and I dropping down to the ocean (the blue line on the map and 1km) while pjd1 and son carried on out to the island (the green line on the map) and met up with us on the beach after another 2 1/2 kms.

Below, the photo on the left shows the scrub and vegetation on the top of the back dunes before dropping down. This was a spot that we often used to camp at in the 1990s and not much has changed! The photo on the right is when we made it down to Te Werahi, and indeynz is pointing out our route, across the stream, along the left of the "green hill" then the hard slog up that 100m high sand dune in the background.


The photo below shows what the terrain is like half way up the 100m high dune. The "blue dot" in the photo on the sand is indeynz to give you an idea of scale.


Below, the photo on the left shows one of the tantalizing views that kept calling out once we were about 50m up the dune (not the person in the photo who was also mesmerised by the views). The tide was on the way out and more and more rocks were getting exposed and became too hard to resist. The photo on the right is the view when we got down to that beach. In the background you can see the "sand slide" which would have been about 50m, and that is where pjd1 and Theo came down to join us again.


Sadly they did not find the plants they were looking for out there as kikuyu had overtaken the island, effectively eradicating it. But no worries as I had a back up site where I knew this grew, is easy to get to (no hard slog up and down dunes) and is in my backyard *LOL*

However, we did find other interesting things, as can be seen from the selected photos below. Indeynz also found interesting things as we were looking in different areas which can be seen here

But the highlight of the day for me was being in an area of spectacular grandeur with the excellent company of @indeynz @pjd1 and Theo and being chauffeur driven in my rohe :D Appreciate the great day out!

Posted by tangatawhenua tangatawhenua, October 01, 2019 03:06

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

September 28, 2019 11:26 AM NZST

Description

Northern most limit found and specimen collected. I think it is this species, unless because it is so far out of "range" it is something else.

Found up in the back dunes on bar sand by shell boy, as fungus boy missed it.

Photos / Sounds

What

Pycnogonids Class Pycnogonida

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

September 28, 2019 02:31 PM NZST

Description

Initially thought this was a plant of some kind, until it moved. Out on the open coast, very exposed, but under a ledge mid intertidal.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

September 28, 2019 02:37 PM NZST

Description

small stunning nubibranch locally common in a rock pool on a very exposed open coast

Photos / Sounds

What

Autetaranga Pimelea villosa

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

September 28, 2019 11:50 AM NZST

Description

The first photo shows the female flowers of the autetaranga. This is the biggest, most healthy plant I have ever seen. Second photo gives an idea of size.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

September 28, 2019 12:09 PM NZST

Description

growing on the rocks by the Te Werahi Stream

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

September 28, 2019 12:16 PM NZST

Description

At the start of the climb up the 100m sand dune.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

September 28, 2019 01:51 PM NZST

Description

Locally common. In the dunes. Sub fossil.

Photos / Sounds

What

Hen Pen Bryopsis plumosa

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

September 28, 2019 02:22 PM NZST

Description

In a rock pool

Comments

Thumb

Sounds like an interesting trip!

Posted by naturewatchwidow about 1 month ago (Flag)
Thumb

Oh it was @naturewatchwidow and the next day was just as much fun :)

Posted by tangatawhenua about 1 month ago (Flag)

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