Saturday, January 26, 2008

Karori Santuary Visit

Yesterday we went down to the Karori Wildlife Santaury, braving the Wellington sun in the hunt for some native endangered birds. If you have not been to Karori Wildlife Santaury I suggest that you go. The best days to go are calm days when there are only a few people in the Santaury. The entrance fee is relatively expensive, costing 12 dollars. The Santaury has the only mainland wild populations of Tuatara, Hihi, and Saddleback. All these magnificent animals have been extinct in the Wellington region for over 100 years. The Santuary also has loads of history contained in it. It has a mine shaft for the abandoned morning star Gold mine, which was used during the gold rushes of the 1800s. The reason it was abandoned was the returns were poor. The lakes within the Sanctuary used to be used as sources of water (the lower dam until 1997) but they were decommissioned as open water sources are not hygienic enough and they are both located on a fault line which makes them a large earthquake risk.

The ancient Tauratara - New Zealands living Dinosaur

We have only been able to go three times since the opening of this wonderful resource in Wellington, but yesterday was the best day yet. We managed to see every imaginable species that is awake during the day and that should have been sleeping. We were walking along in the bush and herd this cacophony of bird sounds at one point, not realising that the were walking into a very unusual yet fascinating situation. What we found were a bellbird, a hihi, and a black robin bird calling to warn the rest of the bush that a Morpork was awake and was on the prowl. So we got to see these birds all calling and close up. The most impressive thing was seeing the male Hihi pick a fight with the morpork and frighten the poor thing off! We also got to see the elusive yet beautiful Kaka which up until that point we had only heard or seen flying in the distance (we had the priviledge of seeing a group of five of the birds come and have a feed at one of the feeding stations.)

The Hihi or stichbird - they are so colourful and noisy!

The North Island Kaka

I’m very much a nature lover; I could spend my whole life in the Karori sanctuary and wouldn’t get bored. When I look at the beauty of these Birds and hear their calls it makes me want to worship God more than ever. God put his love into creating these beautiful creatures, for his enjoyment but also for our enjoyment. They point to a magnificent creator. I thank God that he put the dream into the hearts of men to set up the Karori Wildlife sanctuary for the enjoyment of so many people, its great to see these strange and magnificent creatures living in the wild once again. The awesome thing about the Santuary is that we have a recovery in our local hardier bird life such as the Tui which are now flourishing by the thousands (though some people seem to not like being woken up by their calls during the morning!) There is also the possibility of seeing Kaka in some areas if you are lucky, but this is only possible if you live near large trees such as the rata or pines because they are high canopy birds.

Dear God, when I look at your creation, the beauty of the splendour, it makes me want to worship you. The deep red of the wings of the Kaka, its splendid movement show the intricacy and love you put into its creation. The call of the Hihi, sharp and screechy crys out that you are Lord, a lord of love and salvation. All creation crys out for your restoration. The Tuataras are ancient, but you are the ancient of days. We thank you for the love you have poured out in your creation. Lord we worship you because you are wonderful, beautiful even beyond the beauty of creation, you cannot be described. You formed this world, created it, made it to show your splendour, and we can only fall down and worship you, because you are God.

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