What the heck is Kokako Klub?

This is just a group of us that would like to get together and explore more of New Zealand's natural world as a group. A lot of people on staff know an awful lot about the flora and fauna of the area, and by going together on field trips we can learn from each other and gain a better understanding of how New Zealand's plants and animals interact while having a good time and enjoying ourselves in the companionship of like-minded individuals. While it is named after a bird and started by a birdo, it will be covering all aspects of NZ life- I was originally going to name it the Peripatus Party, but decided that lacked the necessary gravitas. It is going to be largely made up of zoo folk but is not zoo sponsored, so if you skip out on work for it don't use us an an excuse! Anyone is welcome, be you full-time staff of any sort, part-timers, volunteers, students, friends, or significant others- if you want to be added to the mailing list just send Thomas an email telling him what email address you would like notifications sent to.

The strategy for the trips is very simple. I will send out an email to everyone on the email list when we have a new trip planned. At that point, do not RSVP me unless I tell you to- most of the trips will not require one and I don't want to know who is coming until I see who is there. We will then meet at the green gate (gate #3 to the zoo on Old Mill Road at the bottom of the hill) at the designated time. Anyone needing a ride can sweet talk their way into a car with spaces- throwing a few dollars at the driver for petrol would be cool as well. Then we will drive to the site and explore it until we are sick of it. Anyone who is late can try to catch us up via text message if they want. Maps and information about the trips will be posted here in advance for everyone as well. After we return, anyone who is game can go en masse to Point Chevalier to enjoy some fine dining. If you change your mind and decide that you are sick of being on the mailing list, just send Thomas an email saying so and he will happily remove you from the list. Most of the trips will be on Wednesdays at 5:00 for the sake of the convenience of most people, but trips on other days will also happen, as well as the occasional day trip for exploring further afield (usually on weekends). So let's have some fun exploring New Zealand's wildlife!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Friday, January 23- Bat Watching

We are going to go looking for New Zealand Long-tailed Bats, one of only 2 remaining native bats, on Friday the 23rd.  If you are keen to join us, there are 2 different ways to do so.  Option 1: meet us at the Green Gate (Gate 3) at the zoo at 7:20 (be early, not late, as we will not wait for anyone not there yet) and we will sort out carpooling options when we get together (so if you do not have a car we will still make sure you can go with someone).  Option 2: meet us in the Waitakere Ranges, in Ark in the Park.  If you know where the golf course (Waitakere Golf Club) is, just continue down that road past the golf course, then past the Ranger's Station, until you get to the parking lot at the very end of the road.  If you are not familiar with the area but still want option #2, drive down Scenic Drive until you get to Te Henga Road, then follow that until you hit Falls Road (your first left, with an Ark in the Park hut at the corner).  Follow Falls Road to the end.  The rest of us will meet you there at 8:00.  We will watch the bats as they forage around the area until ~9:00, and then leave for the evening.  If you like bats you won't want to miss this trip!  We will also have a decent chance of seeing Sulphur-crested Cockatoos as well, if Captain is more your thing.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tuesday, June 24- Western Springs Spoonbill Searching

This Tuesday we will be meeting at the main zoo entrance at 4:50 to walk around to Western Springs and see if we can find the spoonbill that was seen over there.  Or to look at some coots, scaup, and eels, if we can't find it.  Either way, hope to see you there!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thursday, May 15- Eric Armishaw Reserve in Point Chavalier

Hi everyone, if anyone is game for looking close to home for some shorebirds join us for a trip this Thursday to the Eric Armishaw Reserve in Point Chevalier (map), just a few minutes from the zoo at the end of Walker Road.  We will meet at the green gate (gate 3) at 4:50 and drive up to the park to see what there is to be seen.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mangere Poo Ponds, part two

OK, so weather scuttled the poo ponds trip last week.  We are going to try again this week on Wednesday the 23rd.  Same deal as last time (check out the last blog post for full info and map), except for the new date and a new time: let's try to meet at 4:50 PM at the green gate instead of at 5:00.  Hopefully with the extra time gained by the lack of traffic over the holidays we will get to see some cool birds!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wednesday, April 16- Mangere Poo Ponds

Yeah, I know what you are all thinking: "The Mangere poo ponds are known as a romantic destination for hot dates, but what do they have to offer people interested in wildlife?"  Well, as it turns out sewage treatment plants produce lots of water full of nutrients, and that attracts all sorts of exciting wildlife that you can't easily see anywhere else.  Filter feeders like Australasian Shovelers and Royal Spoonbills (which can be hard/impossible to see elsewhere) love places like this, and other hard to find species like dabchicks and other grebes are found in much higher numbers in the area as well, especially during winter, feeding further up the food chain.  The only Black-fronted Dotterels anywhere near Auckland apparently also make Mangere their home during the summer.  Yes, there will also theoretically be poo, but it doesn't smell and if we aren't able to ignore a little poo, who can?

We will be leaving the green gate promptly at 5:00 to head to Mangere, which is by the airport.  Check out the map.