Topic: Fauna - Beach Two
This includes the Maori Pa promontory (Katikatiaka Pa) and the hills and Bush One (Waikiekie), above the beach.
23.1.2004 PHO2008-601, 637, 642
CLIFF SEQUENCING. Part of the beach has a distinctive boulder field that consists of quite smooth, roundish boulders. The ones that were in the low tide zone were well endowed with good sized, healthy looking mussels. (PHO2008-601). They didn’t appear to be harvested and I left them that way. At one place water was flowing in the channels through the rocks. This was a combination of the incoming waves and an out flowing creek. I noticed quite a few 4 to 5 inch sprats zipping around in them. Overhead, the raucous calls of black-backed gulls made it clear that I wasn’t welcome. However, they didn’t resort to ‘bombing’ me like they had on Beach One on the 18th January as I wasn’t near any nesting sites.
PHO2008-637 and 642 show some of the flora that inhabits the cliffs.
Travelling down the dung infested, potholed, muddied and puddled road towards Twin Creeks, I came across a sheep that had gotten itself stuck under a style. I went over to free it but it was stuck fast. Piles of droppings showed that it had been there for some time. I got a large, oval shaped blue plastic bowl out of the car. I’d brought this up to wash my feet in after walking barefoot on the beach at Twin Creeks doing cliff sequencing. I upended the ewe and carefully placed the wretched animal’s feet on the upended bowl, but she was too buggered to lever herself off and over the bar that trapped her back legs. I was juggling through one of the steps, afraid that she might lash out. As it happened, she remained quite calm fortunately. Don’t know if she realized I was trying to help her or if she was just paralysed with fear. Anyway, I thought at first that I didn’t have the strength to free her and that she would have to remain stuck until I could tell the Gibbs. But I finally managed to lift her right leg over the bar. She then sort of slopped free and cantered off. My ‘good deed for the day’ done, I continued on to Twin Creeks.
7.3.2004 PHO2008-709, 713
On the way back after photographing one of the two major cliff collapses, I heard two sheep baa’ing. I looked up the cliff I had just photographed and saw one of the sheep staring straight at me. It was marooned part way down. I didn’t see the other sheep, but it must have seen me because it was baa’ing like its life depended on it. I vowed to tell the Gibbs for it would be a horrible way to die. Perhaps that’s why some end up at the bottom of the cliff after getting on the wrong side of the cliff side fences. In their desperation, they lose their footing or get bowled in cliff collapses.
The two photos shown here, focus on some of the small mussel colonies. PHO2008-709 depicts some mussels at the base of the Pipeline promontory that forms the northern boundary of Beach Two. PHO2008-713 shows some mussels that have set up shop on some of these round rocks located near the low tide mark.
I didn’t actually venture along Beach Two, but the photo depicted here look along Beach Two. The actual location is the boundary between Beaches One and Two. The mussels that adorn the bottom of the cliff face and to a lesser extent the foreground rocks, are subject to rising and falling sand levels. The sand level shown in these images was good.
As I started to walk along the beach, I saw some black-backed gulls wheeling overhead. I also saw some black seabirds, but I didn’t know what species they were.
Part way across the boulder field I stopped to photograph them. I focussed on one particular boulder with mussels on top. The rounded boulders at the low tide mark and further out from what I could see also had larger mussels on them.
While up on the Maori Pa Promontory, I saw plenty of rabbits and flies. I also heard a locust.
Though I didn’t go along Beach Two, while photographing at the Pipeline looking along Beach Two, I did see a variable oystercatcher woofing into a broken mussel there. I also saw some black backed gulls flying above the cliffs.
Part way down the beach I noticed a stranded branch that was festooned with small mussels. I found this to be unusual in that the branch had been so firmly anchored and to have survived the sea’s constant battering for so long, that it was able to be colonised at all.
27.9.2007 PHO2011-1051, 1053
On this day I was joined by fellow photographer, Adam Buckle. He explored Beach One while I explored Beach Two.
As I ambled down towards some large rocks I wanted to photograph from my last visit, I stopped to admire some large mussels that were on a couple of rocks at the wave mark. They had nice beards on them. I then photographed a jammed log with small mussels on that I had also spotted on my last visit.
Further down the beach, I was intrigued by a ewe and her lamb. Standing motionless, they looked like tiny white blobs stuck on top of the huge bright cliff. On the beach not too far away from me, a group of black-backed gulls together with several brown juveniles were parked up at the water-line. Careful so as not to disturb them, I set up the camera on the tripod and took a photo just as the sheep started to move along the cliff top.
I also saw more of the canvas strapping that I had first seen on Beach One on the 12th September.
Up on the Maori Pa promontory, I felt sorry for the parched plants that the Gibbs had planted. One had its leaves all curled up in a desperate attempt to reduce evaporation. Thanks to La Nina, this has turned out to be the summer and autumn of the parched. I did see quite a few large locusts flying around. (They are believed to be Locusta migratoria). They at least appeared to be relishing the dry conditions.
Walking down the walkway towards Twin Creeks, I saw the odd magpie and a few pipits. Near the pond that the Gibbs had put in not far from the Maori Promontory, I saw a couple of complaining Paradise ducks.
I had particularly wanted to photograph on Beach Two with the panoramic camera for some time. Today was perfect, apart from the biting cold wind. The photo here shows the extensive boulder field that inhabits the northern end of the beach. Mussels of varying sizes are shown colonising many of the boulders. The mussels invariably being larger at the low tide mark than higher up the beach.
A little further down, a couple of variable oystercatchers called out from the wave-line. Further down still, a large flock of black-backed gulls and their brown offspring were resting on the beach. I took a photo with White Cliffs in the background. Though the gulls are small in the photo, it shows them in their environment.
While walking down to Twin Creeks, I stopped to photograph these beautiful tree ferns located in Bush One. Bush One straddles the hills above Beach One and Beach Two.