Travis Wetland Monthly Newsletter October 2023

Travis Wetland Trust

All previous newsletters can be found here.

TFC Planting Day Reminder, October 28 2023 – Note the date!

Travis Wetland location map

To avoid Labour Weekend the work day will be on the 4th Saturday of the month, not on the usual 3rd Saturday. What’s more the traditional Trees for Canterbury September planting day at Travis has been moved to the October work day, to try and get some less soggy ground conditions. The start time for the planting will be 10am and the location is at the southern end of the wetland, down the long track past the stock yards.

All tools provided. Gumboots are advised but we can lend you some if you don’t have any. Please bring your own gloves if you can, but we have some of them for loan too.

If the weather on the work day is poor and we decide to cancel then an email will be sent by 8am on Saturday morning. So if you think the conditions are marginal, please check your emails.

If you’re reading this on the website and are not on the email list then you can add yourself to it through the form at the foot of the home page. If you change your mind there’s an unsubscribe link in each newsletter.

Latest News

Report on Last Month’s Work Day, 16 September

Travis work day Sept 2023

This was a revisit to our planting site from one year ago, near Corserland Street and the Anzac Avenue cycle track. This area has a variety of soil types and ponds which often flood over winter. It was very pleasing to see that most of our plants seem well established in spite of very wet spells this winter.

Eleanor cutting birthday cake

Our team of 23 included two families and good progress was made with releasing plants and removing invasive weeds nearby. Wayne did a grand job with a weed-eater around an existing native hedge.

Toe toe planted close to water last spring have grown particularly large. We had some more of these to replant from sites near the Beach Road car park and we expect these to grow well too.

We also took in around 75 potted specimens for infill planting. These included pittosporum, mānuka, broadleaf and umbrella sedge. Good progress was made with this in spite of difficult stony soil in some areas.

The bird life on the nearby pond was often noisy, especially when a juvenile mute swan arrived to the consternation of resident black swans.

Back at the Education Centre refreshments were gratefully received and Nicholas had baked a very special cake for Eleanor’s birthday. Thanks everyone.

Article: Sue Britain, images: Dave Evans

Kenny Rose at farewell

Kenny Rose Departs

Earlier this month ranger Kenny Rose moved on after 11 years working at Travis Wetland. We are all very sorry to see Kenny go as he has been a tireless worker while based at Travis. Trapping has been a major focus for him and he has done a lot of great work on the trap network and digitising the captures. Though not often at the Trust work days he has been very active in many capacities around the wetland and he will be sorely missed. From the end of the month Kenny will be working as a biosecurity officer for ECan in northern Canterbury, we wish him well.

Article: Dave Evans and image: Grahame

Marsh crake, Kotoreke

Marsh Crake, Travis Wetland. Image: Michael Ashbee

Before he left Kenny reported hearing a marsh crake in the wetland. Both marsh crakes and spotless crakes have been heard sporadically at Travis over the years. But seldom seen. Here’s some information on marsh crakes from NZ Birds Online “The marsh crake is one of the most secretive New Zealand birds, largely because it inhabits dense wetland vegetation, rarely ventures into the open and usually only calls at dawn or dusk and through the night. These small rails are half the size of the common blackbird but have spectacular plumage. They appear stout or dumpy because of their short tail and relatively long legs for their body size. The upper parts are rich chestnut-brown with flecks of black and white, the under parts are grey with black-and-white bars towards the flanks, the eye is bright red, the beak green and the legs olive. Very little is known of their ecology.”

“Voice: the marsh crake’s territorial and courtship calls can make them conspicuous in spring, but they generally only call at night. They have a range of calls including: kreeek, trrrrrrr (combing), krakrakra-gagaga.. and krehehehe.”

Article: mostly from NZ Birds Online, image: Canadian Michael Ashbee in 2017

Travis Wetland Trust logo

AGM and speaker

The Trust’s Annual General Meeting will be held at 7pm on the evening of Tuesday 30 October at the Education Centre (near the Travis Wetland car park at the end of Beach Rd, Burwood). All members are encouraged to attend.

Following the AGM there will be supper and about 8pm Sze-wing Yiu of Landcare Research will speak about a research project focussed on displacing pet cats from wildlife reserves. Sze-Wing will introduce the project and talk about the baseline monitoring results at Travis over the past year. This will be followed by time for questions.

Images from Grahame

Mute Swan
Mute Swan
Guess whose foot
Guess whose foot *
Red Damselfly
Red Damselfly
Female Paradise Shelduck
Female Paradise Shelduck

* It’s a black swan