At the top of the harbour, there’s a little area called the Anderson’s Bay inlet. Originally it was twice the size until Dunedin’s growing population demanded more land! (And so half was ‘reclaimed’, although shouldn’t it just be ‘claimed’ since no-one had ever claimed it before?)
Anyhoo, I’ve lived in Anderson’s Bay all my life and spent many hours as a kid poking at crabs, feeding ducks and jumping on the dead octopii. More recently, through an interest in photography, I took note of all the bird life that visits the inlet but even I wouldn’t have thought that there was up to 16 different bird species that visit or live in the inlet area. Someone else had taken notice though.
Jill Hamel of the Save the Otago Peninsula group organised for an artificial bird roost to be constructed in the inlet as a refuge for the birds from people and canines in May 2009.
This is possibly one of the first examples of an artificial roost in the world and after a slow start (just the ducks and the gulls) there are now up to 8 species at a time on the roost, usually at higher tide.
The Anderson’s Bay Inlet Roost has become a resource for seeing the natural world up close and this is similar to what one of my fellow Science Communication student is working on.
Tess Bunny is advocating the notion of “ReWilding the City” and currently has an installation at Wall Street which you should head along and check out. I’ve asked her to do a guest post, so that should be coming your way shortly!