Godwits will start arriving in our estuaries in the next few weeks, exhausted from a 11,700km non-stop flight from Alaska, just to spend the summer with us.
A feat worth applauding, and once again the Motueka Arts Council is holding a Welcome to Godwits Celebration, which also serves to remind people of the importance of protecting our estuaries so they remain a sanctuary and place of sustenance for these magnificent travellers.
The Celebration is on Sunday 23 September 2012, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm, along the Motueka waterfront. Telescopes will be set up by the Nelson Ornithological Society on the old wharf (near the wreck of the Janie Seddon) so you can view the godwits feeding in the estuary. Information on the godwits’ life cycle, and the other birds that reside in the estuary, will be set up in a marquee. Further along Motueka Quay, artists will be working on their paintings.
Children can learn about the godwits’ diet, and can also have a go at making a sand or driftwood sculpture. This activity is open to all ages, and takes place at the beginning of the sandspit – entry off Staples Street, or across the pipeline from the walkway at the northern end of Motueka Quay.
Make it a family day out by biking or walking along the waterfront. Bring your binoculars. If the weather is really bad, the displays will be in the Motueka Recreation Centre, Old Wharf Road.
On Wednesday 26 September 2012, ornithologist Rob Schuckard will give a talk about the catching and banding of godwits, which he has been involved with since 2004. Learn about the movements of the godwits and other Arctic waders around the top of the South Island. The talk is at 7.30 pm at the SeniorNet rooms, 42 Pah Street, Motueka.