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!

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.