Date: 21st November, 2020.
Place: Stillwater Reserve.
It was a typical day at work. I woke up with the sun eager to be learn more about endangered birds nesting in Stillwater Reserve with Bernard Michaux. We were going to go out on one of the cheniers in Stillwater Reserve and scout the nesting sites of NZ Dotterels to formulate a plan of attack, so to speak. The idea was to identify their potential nesting sites and plants that need to cleared so the birds would have their privacy yet need not scrounge for space amongst the weeds. We were sauntering back from a work well done, and lo and behold, what does my eyes spot? Yes, another reason to be excited – a sun orchid sunning itself in the summer’s sun. The orchid I spotted is Thelymitra spp. I have a suspicion that it is Thelymitra lovingly nicknamed ‘Darkie’. It is an undescribed orchid and its conservation status is unknown as yet. It has so far been recorded only in the Far North. I have sent the picture to Te Papa for verification by experts there. If it is confirmed to be Thelymitra ‘Darkie’ there is yet another reason why our piece of bush is precious (not that we needed any reason!!!)