19 Jan 2020
With the weather forecast predicting heavy rain for Lake Tutira it was decided to have a walk from Park Island, Taradale, to the Ahuriri Estuary. The group, Glenda, Susan and I left from by the dog agility area where we followed the gravel path beside the Park Island cemetery, crossing Prebensen Drive to join the Water Ride Trail. The initial northward journey is alongside a stream where we saw hawk in flight, a pied shag, a spoonbill and mallard ducks. The ducks blended well with the ground cover and a large group, adult and young, slipped quietly into the stream where they kept closely to the true left.
When the pathway reaches the Main Outfall Channel the path veers eastward and continues below the stop bank. At this point there is a hide in which to view the plentiful wildlife including; Canadian geese, spoonbill, gull, pied stilts. The info board states there are 70 species of resident and migratory waterbirds. As we continued our journey a rather picturesque vista appeared on the stop bank; in a line were the heads and necks of thirteen Canadian geese.
Our journey continued, stopping at the hide at the end of the Water Ride Trail, following the pathway under the motorway, under and up on to the old road bridge. Strategically placed at the top of the path was a seat which we took advantage of and had a snack. Our rest was ended by the rain that had been threatening. We put rain jackets on and continued across the bridge to duck back down under it and walk back in a westward direction to the ponds to the south of the airport. We then retraced our steps to the sign post at the junction of the Water Ride Trail and Main North Road to Prebensen Drive; to complete a circuit we continued alongside the Main North Road. This trail is separated from the road by a waterway, along Prebensen Drive and back around the Park Island track to the car. The walk had taken us 3 hours.
Anne D, Susan L, Glenda H