Waikawa Bay?

The forecast 60 to 90 mm rain today turned out to be more like 16 mm and the gales were really just blustery strong winds.

However the tide filled the estuary, as witnessed by Stephen Betts mid-afternoon, during a bit of a break in the weather.

Sea fills the Waikawa Beach estuary.
After a stormy day and not long after high tide the sea is filling the estuary. Photo by Stephen Betts.

Click on the photo to see it at a larger size.

It’s seal (kekeno) season — take care on the beach

It’s the time of year when young seals (kekeno) show up on the beach to rest. Chris Wood sent us this photo on Friday 16 July 2021.

Seal by driftwood.
Seal by driftwood.

Remember to keep your distance and to keeps dogs, kids and vehicles well away. Don’t get between a seal and the sea.

NZ Fur seals are pinnipeds and are also known as Kekeno.

Eared seals include fur seals and sea lions. They have external ears, hind flippers they can turn forward under the body and walk on and no fur on the under side of their flippers. New Zealand examples are the New Zealand fur seal and New Zealand sea lion.

All seals, whales and dolphins are protected under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978.

If you see anyone disturbing fur seals call the DOC emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) and report it.

Source: Seals and sea lions: New Zealand marine mammals.

High seas; low river

Since a heap of rain and wind and some high tides in the second half of June, the river has been very low by the footbridge.

Very low river by footbridge.
Very low river by footbridge.

It seems the sandbar that forces the river into a slow lazy loop has gone for the moment allowing the sea to flow in all the way to the groyne, and the river to flow out.

Sea coming right up to the groyne with no sandbar.
Sea coming right up to the groyne with no sandbar.

It’s a wet one — 27 June 2021

In the past few days we’ve had about 18mm rain with another 20 forecast for today. Up in the hills though it’s been raining a lot more.

The paddocks beside Waikawa Beach Road are starting to look more like lakes, and the river at the footbridge is flowing swift and strong.

Where the last few weeks we’ve had a long lazy loop between the groyne and the sea, the river has now broken through the sandbar to flow straight out.

Full river breaks through sandbar.
Full river breaks through sandbar.

BTW: MetService are forecasting significant swells in the next few days.

Swells forecast.
Swells forecast.

Posted: Sunday 27 June 2021, 09.30.

Annual Garden Bird Survey, 26 June to 04 July 2021

The annual New Zealand Garden Bird Survey runs from 26 June to 04 July 2021. You just need to keep an eye on the garden for one hour on one day and report the birds that show up.

Healthy bird populations can indicate that the environment is healthy. We know lots about endangered native birds in the bush, but we don’t always know what’s happening in the populations of all the birds around us, particularly in urban and garden environments.

Here are some of the birds you might see around Waikawa Beach: hawks, Canada Geese, fantails, waxeyes, ring-neck doves, pheasants, Eastern Rosellas, tūī, magpies, shags, swallows. What’s in your backyard?

Part of a bird identification sheet.
Part of a bird identification sheet.

Researcher warns: homes should not be built close to the shoreline

Building future homes by shoreline not sustainable, researcher warns:

A study by New Zealand and European researchers says sea-level rise will have severe consequences, and long-term property planning needs to begin urgently.

Study co-author Dr Judy Lawrence from the Climate Change Research Institute at Victoria University warned rising sea levels will affect properties in the future, and said New Zealanders should not build their homes close to the shoreline.

Lawrence said New Zealanders often want to build their property near the edge of the water – but they should not.