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Trip Report – East Harbour Regional Park

Trip Report – 4 October 2014 :   East Harbour Regional Park

This trip, in the most recent addition to East Harbour Regional Park, was rescheduled from 1 March because of poor weather.

Bulbophyllum pygmaeum
Bulbophyllum pygmaeum.   Photo: Sunita Singh.
We started at Wainuiomata’s Lees Grove entrance, beneath a closed canopy of tall tree ferns, overtopped by mature Kunzea robusta / kanuka.   These have inhibited the establishment of broadleaf species for some distance along the track.   We saw some good-sized kahikatea on wet ground, before the track climbs a spur through Fuscospora solandri / black beech and F. truncata / hard beech forest to join the Rata Ridge Track.   Here we saw Notogrammitis pseuodociliata epiphytic on beech, and discussed whether it was rare, or just overlooked.   The Rata Ridge Track is exposed to southerly storms, so there is historic and recent evidence of this, with many beech trees recently uprooted.   The moist air across the ridge crest, and good light, make it an ideal place for orchids, with Earina autumnalis, E. mucronata and Dendrobium cunninghamii abundant, epiphytic and terrestrial.   Other orchids we saw: Drymoanthus adversus, D. flavus (unc) Bulbophyllum pygmaeum (unc), Pterostylis cardiostigma, P. graminea agg. (unc), Nematoceras trilobum agg. “Rimutuka”, and Acianthus sinclairii.

We saw a grove of aged Dracophyllum filifolium to 4 m high (spot height 347 m) before the track descends to the Fern Gully Track junction.   The top of this track is well lit.

Here we saw Gonocarpus incanus, Libertia edgariae, Morelotia affinis, Thelymitra longifolia agg., T. sp., and Microtis unifolia agg., before a forecast storm broke, with thunder, hail and snow, that sent us scurrying through an extensive area of tree ferns, overtopped by tall kanuka and back to our cars by 3.30 p.m.

Participants :   Peter Beveridge, Gavin Dench, Michele Dickson, Jill & Ian Goodwin, Chris Hopkins (leader / scribe), Chris Horne, Jane Humble, Barbara Mitcalfe, Chris Moore, Allan Munro, Mick Parsons, Leon Perrie, Nick Saville, Lara Shepherd, Sunita Singh.


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