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KCC Camp - Miranda shorebirds

During the first weekend in November the whole family journeyed down to Miranda to spend two days with the Forest & Bird Southern Kiwi Conservation Club - for kids. 

Robin has been going to KCC events for several years now but has never been overnight with them, and I have been keen to visit Miranda shorebirds for a while.

Robin is no longer in the Southern KCC group as we now live out west, but they invited us anyway as they know us, and also as Robin is quite shy but he already knows the kids so will make it easier for an overnight stay. 

Julianne was going to be working and as such was going to join us later in the afternoon but just the night before her bookings all got moved around or cancelled so she could join us for the whole day which was excellent news. 

We arrived around 9-30ish into Miranda and pulled into the Shorebird centre. We were the first to arrive so had plenty of time to explore the Shorebird centre which has a lots of details of the birds to be seen on New Zealand shore's and there are a lot of them!

Plus there were stuffed versions of a lot of New Zealand birds which greatly interested the boys. Plus there gift shop was full of great books, with at least 5 I wanted to buy, but couldn't afford any currently. 

Also as we were the first to arrive Robin got to choose our bunk room, the only one with a door out to the back which proved handy over the next 24 hours as the kids ran everywhere. 

At 10-15 the camp officially began with a great talk by the very knowledgeable Keith Woodley who has a great way of talking about complex nature stuff with kids and some amazing facts came out, such as Godwits who fly 29,000 km's every year including Alaska to New Zealand in one go - a journey of 11,500 kms, that is eight days of powered flight - none of this albatross gliding stuff. 

Luke trying to lay claim to the top bunk

Luke trying to lay claim to the top bunk

Listening to the talk about the shorebirds from Keith Woodley

Listening to the talk about the shorebirds from Keith Woodley

Starting out on our walk to see the shorebirds

Starting out on our walk to see the shorebirds

Then we headed out for the 2 kilometer walk to actually see the real birds resting on shoreline. There were several high powered telescopes setup for people to use. It's always nice to stretch one's legs but to see all those thousands of birds on the shore was amazing and Robin loved it, and Luke joined in as well of course. 

The birds through the telescope 

The birds through the telescope 

Lifting Luke over a fence

Lifting Luke over a fence

standing on the stool to use the telescope. 

standing on the stool to use the telescope. 

Robin looking through the telescope at the birds

Robin looking through the telescope at the birds

Luke gets a turn with the telescope

Luke gets a turn with the telescope

The birds have taken flight

The birds have taken flight

The next several hours were spent watching the birds, talking to the experts, talking to each other and having lunch before heading back along the 2 kilometer walk to the Miranda Shorebird centre. 

After a bit of a rest, the next activity was painting The Flock. First the kids had to create the design they wanted to paint and then they were given a wooden bird to paint. Once painted these birds will join the other wooden birds growing outside the Miranda Shorebirds Centre. Robin new exactly what design he wanted and what colours he wanted where. 

Robin painting his bird

Robin painting his bird

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and playing games involving lots of running around. I spent several hours over the afternoon reading lots of my book, I have not stayed in once place and read for so much for a while - it was great. 

Playing games - Robin running fast

Playing games - Robin running fast

Luke and his new friend. 

Luke and his new friend. 

Then we had a yummy communal meal with lots of shooting the breeze with the other parents while the kids played. 

Then around 7ish it was time to head out to Miranda Hot Pools with Robin while Julianne and Luke rested behind. It was fantastic to see Robin so excited with the pool, as normally he can be a bit nervous and takes a while to get into the water - but today it was full on straight away. I do so love the water, and spent a lots of time in the water when I was a kid so playing with Robin in the pool is always a lot of fun. 

At Miranda Hot Pools they have this giant pillow, and it is huge - about several meters high and I guess around 10 meters long. So once up the top it was a challenge to stay up there without falling and sliding down. Once Robin got used to it he started joining in with the other KCC members which was a nice change. 

We were at the pools for several hours before heading back the Miranda Shorebird's lodge to head to bed. But not before having a listen at the night sounds to complete an action on Robins 'bingo' card. The Bingo card has a whole range of activities which need to be completed and Robin had been busy all day completing them - and absolutely loved it, finding birds, doing chores, listening to night sounds etc. 

I was last to bed around 10-30 and funnilyI) was first up at 6-15am with Luke, where we went outside and looked at the end of the birds morning chorus and watched the wildlife starting our there day. 

By around 6-30am Robin had joined us and a whole pile of the other kids and parents also started getting up. 

A nice relaxing morning especially as the 2 oldest girls aged about 11 took ownership of Luke, who spent the whole morning going around with them holding hands and such. Robin also started playing on his own with the other kids. Shame that just as he is beginning to bond with them we have moved to Glen Eden and he will be with another KCC crowd soon.

Playing ring a ring a rosie

Playing ring a ring a rosie

And they all fell down!

And they all fell down!

Robin helping make lunch and another 'bingo' task completed. 

Robin helping make lunch and another 'bingo' task completed. 

It was then packing the car to head up the road to Waharau Regional Park for a walk through the bush and where we got to see a really early primitive fern.

I took Luke through the bush in the pram which amused a number of people, but I have learnt that light cheap prams work really well when visiting Roman ruins, castles and such. And man handling the pram along the path through the bush was just the same. 

Robin using a mirror to see the canopy while walking along.

Robin using a mirror to see the canopy while walking along.

And helping to guide me while I use the mirror. 

And helping to guide me while I use the mirror. 

Then it was time for lunch, a few quick games and then heading home.

Many thanks to all those wonderful KCC Co-ordinators for arranging such as wonderful weekend, Julia, Elaine and Rosemary. 

Lunch

Lunch

Playing 

Playing 

On the way home we stopped off at the Strawberry Corner, recommended by someone at the camp. There they sell strawberries and a single flavor of ice cream - strawberry of course. Yummy ice cream eaten just after it had been made. 

Eating ice cream on the way home

Eating ice cream on the way home

 

 

Adam Weller