Catlins summer fun

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They are out there somewhere .. As the main group led by bird expert Richard Schofield look for exotic breeds through their binoculars, Olivia Stratford (11, right) of Curio Bay, uses a bigger scope to get a better view of some of the diverse range of birds found at the Catlins Estuary. She is accompanied by her mother Lynsey Stratford and brother Callum (13, centre). PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

If your interests include fossils, penguins, moa, or the wee, weird and wonderful, Forest and Bird South Otago’s Catlins Summer Programme might be just what you are looking for to entertain adventurous family and guests these holidays.

Programme director Jim Young said his team had assembled an eclectic collection of speakers, guides and experts to lead tours and conduct many different hands-on activities at their fourth annual summer programme in January 2020.

“We have brought together a diverse set of speakers and leaders who are offering a wide range of Catlins based eco-adventures to take part in next year.

“From the smallest to the biggest native species, from coal to EV cars, we have it all,” he said.

Mr Young said this year’s highlights would include Fergus Sutherland talking about the elusive Papatowai moa, lessons in how to attract wildlife to your garden with Gordon and Janine Thompson, a walk to the recently reopened McLean Falls and Richard Schofield’s bird tours of the Catlins River Estuary.

“Another couple of highlights will be the talk on the future of our blue cod fisheries by Steve Wing, then the Wildlife Hospital are coming to talk about their activities around treating sick penguins.

“My favourites are the guided walk on the Long Track at Lenz which will surely open people’s eyes to a wonderful walking track suitable for all ages, and then there is the work being presented on fossils.”

An Otago Museum outreach event would guide people through the Milburn lime quarry, looking for fossils after Fergus Sutherland had shown visitors the Jurassic fossils along the shoreline at Papatowai.

“His walks are amazing. People will have a fantastic time looking at the shore as now there will someone on hand to explain what is on offer, and what to look out for,” Mr Young said.

More information about the programme can be found at the FBSO site: www.facebook.com/ForestAndBirdSouthOtago/Events. Alternatively, contact Jim Young on 034158532 or 0274409529.