The Rough Block

17 May

Once again the planned tramp, this time to Boundary Stream, could not go ahead because the park was closed, so instead we went to the Rough Block at the Cape Sanctuary.  The Rough Block is situated about 7 kilometres NE of Ocean Beach and is within a predator proof fence.  John volunteers there and he agreed to guide us on the Saturday, combining a walk through part of the sanctuary with a check for invasive weeds.

We had the luxury of a 9 AM start and had driven to our walking point by  just after 10.  The day was fine and there were great views out to the triple peaks (Te Mata, Mt Erin and Kahuranaki) from an angle not usually seen.  To start with we walked down a steep bulldozed track through patches of kanuka  to the valley floor. Amongst the kanuka in the valley are ponga and some bigger trees including , hinua,  titoki , pigeonwood and one large maire.  Time was spend collecting some of the many hinua seeds on the ground to grow at the nursery.  Some of the bigger trees have kaka nest boxes attached to them which, at this time of the year,  housed mainly geckos and weta.  

Lunch was had beside the stream and after lunch we followed the stream up, coming to a very picturesque canyon like section.  There was a couple of forays by members  up the slopes in the canyon section, the first to check out where a kaka-like eggs shell had come from, (but in hindsight John thinks it was a morkpork egg.  The second was up to check out a tree that they thought might have been a maire – the jury is out on this.

After awhile we climbed out of the canyon following a track up a slope and back on to the farm track not far from where the van was parked.  To finish off a great day out we drove along to the aviary hoping to see some kaka and kakariki  there.  Unfortunately, except for a solitary kakariki, there were none to be seen, probably due to the NZ falcon we had seen flying about as we drove along the road. On the plus side we had spied no invasive weeds,

Party: John B, Peter B, Steve B, Paula K, Susan L, Anne D, Anne & Kerri B, Denise & Lindsay D, Barbara H  and Glenda H.

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