Queen Charlotte Track – Flora & Fauna Update

Our senior guide, Ray Waters, regularly writes a flora and fauna update for our visitors and staff.  We thought you might like to see what is happening on and around the Queen Charlotte Track at this time of the year.

 

FAUNA

PAREKAREKA/ SPOTTED SHAG   Stictocarbo Puntatus

A very handsome bird at this time of the year with it’s breeding plumage.  A double crest rising at the forehead continues to the nape of the neck with a metallic glow.  Skin around the eyes is opalescent blue and green.  Pouch bright blue and feet bright orange/yellow.  Each wing feather has a black dot, hence the name.  Immature birds are dark grey above and pale grey below.  Can be seen nesting or roosting on rocky cliffs throughout the Sounds

KARORO/ SOUTHERN BLACK-BACKED GULL  Dominicanus Vetula

A large gull which as all white except for its black back and wings.  It has a yellow bill with a splash of red near the head, and orange eyelids.  Watch for pairs nesting close to the high tide mark, they may made a lot of noise and dive at passers-by if you approach too closely.

 

FLORA 

RANGIORA   Brachyglottis Repanda

Coastal and flowering now in large much branched panicles which have a strong, sweet scent. 

BUSH CLEMATIS   Clematis Paniculata

A strong woody vine which is now flowering in great clusters of lovely white flowers in the tops of trees.

 TUTUKIWI/HOODED ORCHID

Green hooded with moving pterostylis – in flower now.  The stem may attain a height of 30 – 45 cm.       

HEKETARA /FOREST TREE DAISY  Olearia Rani

A shrub found in lowland forest. Flowering in profusion throughout the sounds,  especially on forest margins.

 NGAIO   Myoperum Laetum

A rounded tree up to 8 meters high, especially overlooking beaches in the sounds.  Flowering now, with the mauve berries appearing about March.