Bellbird steals the show at Tuhaitara Park

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Song of welcome . . . A male bellbird (korimako) was in fine voice, singing to visitors during the Tuhaitara Coastal Park open day at Woodend last Sunday.

By SHELLEY TOPP

A bellbird singing near the Tuhaitara Coastal Park office at the Woodend Beach Domain was a treat for visitors during the park’s annual open day last Sunday.

A large crowd turned out for the open day and many took the opportunity to join Te Kohaka o Tuhaitara Trust chairman Joseph Hullen on a guided tour of the park, accompanied by the bellbird’s singing.

Sophie Allen, projects manager at the Working Waters Trust, said the walk to the beautiful Tutaepatu Lagoon was “amazing” and the historic information provided by Mr Hullen along the way about the area, the early inhabitants and how they lived was interesting.

Park general manager Greg Brynes said he was pleased with the turnout.

“A really good mix of the community” had attended the event.

“It was great to see so many families, with kids on bikes and parents pushing prams, visiting the park along with so many of the volunteers who helped out during the year, he said.

“There was a really good positive vibe all day and even the weather played its part.”

There was live music at the sound shell in the domain throughout the day with Rangiora’s “guitar man” Bobby Brown and his daughter Trinity, and X-Factor New Zealand 2013 runner-up, Whenua Patuwai, from Christchurch, popular entertainers.

Tuahiwi artist Katherine Jacob, whose beautiful drawings feature in volume one of the Tuhaitara Coastal Park Field Guide, and volume two which is due out soon, had a stall at the event where she was working on drawings throughout the day and had work for sale.

Wildlife photographer Steve Attwood, whose images of the Ashley-Rakahuri River’s endangered birds featured in a Rangiora exhibition last year, also had a stall displaying his work.

The Ashley-Rakahuri River Care Group had a stall and Braid’s colourful cut-out “Flock” also touched down at the domain for the day.