06 January 2020

NZ Wildlife and Bushy Park

Late last year we had a great few days travelling with a friend from Adelaide through New Plymouth, Whanganui and Palmerston North - and back home via Pukawa. The main purpose was to attend the NZVA Wildlife Branch Conference at Bushy Park, in an old historic homestead just NW of Whanganui. At New Plymouth we visited the Te Rewa Rewa bridge and Pukekura Park.

Bushy Park Homestead

For the conference we stayed at Kai Iwi on a beach where we had red sunsets, courtesy of the Australian bush fires - sad business. And it got worse.

Sun Setting in Bushfire Smoke

The conference was great with the usual crowd of inspirational young people talking about ecological restoration in the North Island and the health problems associated with the native birds. We went mad at Whanganui and purchased some ceramic art - wont get it until October 2020 when it's exhibition ends.

Our New Art Work

We Found a Dead Tui
The highlight of the Conference, for me, was the conferring of Life Membership on Maurice Alley, an old colleague of mine from the Wallaceville days in the 1960s. It was accompanied by lots of complimentary speeches and a standing ovation - well deserved and quite moving. He has done an enormous volume of work on NZ bird life through his few hundred papers on their diseases. And supported and encouraged so many Massey veterinary students in wildlife pathology.

Dorothy and Maurice Alley

The last day of the conference was in Palmerston North where we visited the Massey Veterinary School Wild Base Recovery Unit, a joint public access facility constructed by MasseyUni and the local city council. Well planned and very impressive. The floating collection of mobile huia (extinct), seen below, represents their flight into extinction - the white birds representing the ghosts of those who first passed on - another sad NZ story.

And so home via Pukawa where the birds welcomed us back with much song and birdbathing.

Huia Moving on Into Extinction

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