It has been a busy autumn for me. Field work had occupied my time all summer and by September, I was off to Indonesia to lead a birding tour of Sulawesi and Halmahera for Quest Nature Tours. I was home for a couple of weeks and then off again, this time to Ecuador to lead a tour in the Galápagos as well as to spend a week on my own afterwards, in the lower foothills of the eastern Andes. (By the way, if you want to read about these international travels, I post regularly on my travel blog Explorations Of An Ecologist, linked here). However, since my return I have been trying to get out birding every now and then.
Most of my wanderings have kept me local. Where Laura and I are situated in Hamilton it is only a 10 minute walk to our local park, Falkirk Woods. This park has a lot of introduced plants and human disturbance so it is not exactly an area of high ecological value, but us naturalists can find interest in just about any space, no matter how pristine or degraded. Falkirk Woods is of sufficient size that, if nothing else, it's good for a nice long walk. Since moving here in June I have been keeping track of the total species that I have documented from Falkirk Park and I am closing in on 800 species. This includes over 150 plants, over 500 insects (of which ~60% are Lepidoptera, mostly from evening mothing sessions) and around 100 vertebrates. Nothing crazy, but it has been fun to document the biodiversity in an area so close to home.