Girls’ School Students Explore Tiritiri Matangi

November 27, 2018 at 10:00 AM

As part of their study of New Zealand birds and their environment, our Year 5 and 6 girls spent the day on Tiritiri Matangi Island. Situated around 9km from Gulf Harbour on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, the predator free island is home to many of our native birds, such as the flightless takahe and tuatara.

Despite the weather warnings and plummeting temperatures last week, our eager girls climbed onto the bus and ferry, lugging their rain jackets and notepads ready for the adventure. As they arrived on the island, the sun came out and they were blessed by Tawhirimatea.

After their formal welcome, the girls were greeted by educator, Barbara Hughes and her willing and able group of volunteers. The volunteers embraced the enthusiasm of our girls, answered their questions and explained how the island sanctuary has developed.

The volunteers guided the students around the island in groups to observe the birds. By this time, many of our girls had developed a keen eye and were eagerly waiting with a pencil and notebook ready to tally the number of birds they saw. By lunch time, the girls had nearly ticked off their list of birds to watch for.

The girls stopped for lunch at the lighthouse. Here they heard about the threats of mammalian predators and pests, while enjoying the scenic views of Hauraki Gulf.

At the end of the day, the girls went down to Hobbs Beach to carry out a beach ‘clean-up’ where they were able to further explore and observe the birds in their natural habitats. The students were able to spot more tui, oystercatchers and dotterels. They were even lucky enough to visit the nesting boxes of the little blue penguins.

The girls had a fantastic time on the island and were able to identify New Zealand native birds they had been studying and recognise their specific calls.

On their return, the girls reflected on their time on the peaceful island. Year 5, Daliah Shin enjoyed her time and said, ‘The birds were so colourful and loud. It is amazing how Tiritiri Matangi is so green and fresh, unlike Korea.  The water was so clear and the birds were all so unique.’

The girls were extremely well behaved and superb role models for the Girls’ School. Thank you to all the parents who assisted them on their long day.


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