Sails Ashore guest on Ulva Island Tour

Sails Ashore Ulva Island Tour

Part of the Sails Ashore “Stewart Island Experience” is a Guided Tour of Ulva Island Open Sanctuary. Your host Peter is also your guide, and the tour draws on my over 45 years of experience on Ulva Island, initially as Ranger in Charge, then as a very regular visitor and latterly as a natural history guide.

Ostercatcher approching it's nest on Ulva Island

Parent just about to sit the nest. The tide cut is visible just below the nest


Yesterday I took a Wellington couple over to Ulva. Not a wonderful day, and we came back more than damp. It’s been some time since I had a really bad weather day guiding, as usually I can manage adjust tour times to work around the worst of it. But I have to say the tour went well, in spite of the wind and rain. Stewart Island is, after all, temperate rain forest.

Oyster Catcher eggs on Ulva Island

Eggs in the nest

But still a good afternoon, and among other things we found an Oystercatcher nest. But I have to say I doubt this nest will survive. These birds will generally nest just a metre of so beyond the spring tide mark, and lay just after the top of the big springs. Incubation is around 26/28 days, so hopefully they hatch before the next big tides. But this one has nested under a bank and worse, a couple of days before the top of the tides. The tide is undermining the beach, and less than a metre away. So not looking good. But I’ve known a pair to have 3 attempts before success, so maybe not so bad.





& Orchids

Discovering Orchids... Bamboo Orchid, Ulva Island

Discovering Orchids on Ulva Island

The orchid season is well underway, and in fact the Dancing Spider and Red Spider Orchids are all finished. But lots of Bamboo Orchid  (Peka a waka) Erina Mucronata are out.
Our New Zealand orchids are not particularly well known, apart from real plant enthusiasts, and showing them to New Zealanders is really special.

Pterostylus “Bluff”  and Green Bird Orchids are showing well around the village. And the Odd Leafed Orchids appeared about 2 weeks ago and are now well in leaf.

Bamboo Orchid on Ulva Island

Bamboo Orchid