Tūī spotted in Lyttelton for first time in 40 years

by Rachel Graham / 16 August, 2018

 

Tūī are being seen in the port town of Lyttelton for the first time in 40 years.

The bird may be a common sight in other parts of New Zealand, but they have largely disappeared from lowland areas of Canterbury.

Unfortunately, they were not there the day RNZ visited but a couple of months ago they were in the backyard of Mike Stewart and Vicki Carlyon, who have embarked on replanting native plants over the last three years.

The couple bought their 10 acre section four years ago, and since then have planted around 3500 plants, with 1000 planted in the last year.

Mr Stewart said attracting bird life was one of their goals, and they were aiming to increase the number of bellbirds, and ultimately, hoping to attract tūī.

"There was an initial sighting in Urumau Reserve where a lot of planting has been done as part of community projects.

"We were out in the garden and heard and saw tūī. They were in a visiting tree, a Banksia, but it was very exciting."

Vicki Carlyon and Mike Stewart have been working on transforming their Lyttelton property with native plantings for the last three years. Photo / Rachel Graham.

In 2009, 70 tūī were introduced to Akaroa, at the other end of the Banks Peninsula, but until now they have not been seen in Lyttelton.

Mr Stewart said the general consensus in the town was that tūī were last seen in Lyttelton around 40 years ago.

When the couple bought the land it had largely been used as paddocks.

The job of transforming the land had been a huge job, with Mr Stewart focusing on clearing the land, while Ms Carlyon planted.

It was four-to-five hours a day work, she said.

"I've had friends and neighbours helping, which is fantastic. It makes the combi guards grow across the hill when you've got someone to help you."

The couple paid for the first 2600 plants out of their own pockets, but the last 1000 trees were donated via an environmental brokerage company, Trees That Count, paid for by Tauranga software company SwipedOn.

Trees that Count regional programme manager Tanya Hart said the charitable organisation was established by Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall, with the goal of planting 200 million natives by 2030.

She said there is a variety of ways people can get involved.

"They can either donate, they can gift a tree, they can donate a tree, they can pledge to plant a tree, plant one themselves, or they can get involved in the many community plantings that we have nationwide."

Ms Hart said the goal was connecting people up.

"There are some people who don't have enough land but want to plant trees and some people with a lot of land who need help with funding for native tree planting."

Mr Stewart and MS Carlyon hoped to plant three-quarters of their 10 acres in native plants in the coming years, and that spotting a tui would be a common occurrence in Lyttelton.

This article was originally published by RNZ.

Latest

The debate over the Serena Williams controversy was a dialogue of the deaf
96659 2018-09-22 00:00:00Z Sport

The debate over the Serena Williams controversy wa…

by Paul Thomas

Serena Williams’ US Open outburst was unbecoming but the umpire made a mess of his response.

Read more
The classical blokes saluting unsung women composers
96670 2018-09-21 14:16:06Z Music

The classical blokes saluting unsung women compose…

by The Listener

The suffrage celebrations get a soundtrack from all-male ensemble NZTrio.

Read more
Labour MPs stand behind Jacinda Ardern's action on Meka Whaitiri
96630 2018-09-21 07:31:30Z Politics

Labour MPs stand behind Jacinda Ardern's action on…

by Gia Garrick

The public will have to wait to see a report into an assault claim against MP Meka Whaitiri, who was yesterday stripped of her ministerial portfolios.

Read more
A year of dangerous thinking: What's really behind the free speech circus
96551 2018-09-21 00:00:00Z Social issues

A year of dangerous thinking: What's really behind…

by Anthony Byrt

Metro writer Anthony Byrt looks at how a handful of extremists and “public intellectuals” are making money from manufactured moral outrage.

Read more
Tom Scott's Avantdale Bowling Club is a sharp insight into life in Auckland
96621 2018-09-21 00:00:00Z Music

Tom Scott's Avantdale Bowling Club is a sharp insi…

by Gary Steel

Tom Scott's new album, Avantdale Bowling Club, is a celebration of a kind, an expansive paean to the place that raised him and where he belongs.

Read more
Breaking bread with The Dusty Apron: The secret to the perfect loaf
Does the Norton Core router deliver? Plus 5 tips for home network security
96675 2018-09-21 00:00:00Z Tech

Does the Norton Core router deliver? Plus 5 tips f…

by Peter Griffin

A look at the Norton Core secure router, and five tips for home network security.

Read more
Labour MP Meka Whaitiri stripped of ministerial portfolios
96626 2018-09-20 15:50:21Z Politics

Labour MP Meka Whaitiri stripped of ministerial po…

by Jo Moir

Labour MP Meka Whaitiri has been stripped of her ministerial portfolios but remains an MP.

Read more