Sad reporting of a loss of a magnificent Kereru.

By / 16th August, 2017 / Uncategorized / No Comments

16 August 2017

It is with a heavy heart that I have to report about a recent loss of a magnificent Kereru (NZ pigeon) due to window strike.  I have sat on the blog, too sad to write this, upset at the loss, but also concerned that the two sets of Guests, who took many pictures, and studied this bird, will be saddened too.  However, it is life, the natural cycle of life and death, and one that cannot be ignored.

On this occasion, about one month ago, while I was out one grey day, Alan heard a loud bang, investigated and saw that the bird had struck our main dining room window.  It was on the ground, moved away as Alan approached, fluttered down our steps and established itself in the bush, on the ground.  When I came home, I was tired, after visiting my elderly Mum, who lives right next to Bird Rescue in Godley Rd, Green Bay, Akl. We agreed the bird looked content, recovering quietly.  It was a very cold night- that was our big mistake. First thing in the morning, we checked our friend, rang Bird Rescue, and Lynn advised we bring him or her in.  One hour later, after being transferred into a new box, on a heat pad at 37 degrees, sadly, it died.  Lyn had 3 other kereru lined up in their boxes and they all survived.  Upon examination, she found it was not in great health, empty crop, nothing broken, but fairly wasted.  This was a surprise, considering we all observed it being ‘king of the lancewood’ and scoffing fruit for hours on end in the sun.

My lesson, and her advise, always try to capture, (maybe throw a cloth over making it a gentler capture and they panic less), keep in a warm dark box.  Sometimes they may simply exit the box when recovered.  Time may be all they need.  Have glass windows, will have bird strikes.  Sometimes they survive, sometimes not. We keep our lounge blinds down all day, and recently a Guest left because our home looked like we had gone out.  We ask our Guests to keep blinds down, especially if they go out for the day, and we have decals on some of their windows.

Long blog, you can see it still hurts!  Donations always gratefully received by Lyn MacDonald at

one last chance to recover grey wet day

grey wet day


By / 16th August, 2017 / Uncategorized / No Comments

16 August 2017

Our first clematis buds have opened at last.  These are the early ‘Heralders’ of spring as the temperatures are more reliably rising and warming the soil.  The bright yellow narcissi bulbs were first, and now the daffodils.  Many more bulbs are popping their heads up bravely and testing the air.  I planted 3 clematis seedlings 2 years ago and they literally took off, climbing up the manukas on the side of our drive, clinging wherever they could, as they reached for the light.  All 3 flowered in the first year, and are now all budded and beginning to open.  We also have a clematis off the rear deck, (on a five finger tree), and another on the front deck, (growing along the rail), and both are in bud now, waiting their turn to burst open.

Next will be the kowhai, and in the next one to two months, the Te Henga Valley will come alive with the yellow kowhai blooms, and star bursts of clematis from atop the green of the trees.  I love spring!

Amazing Kereru pics taken last weekend by Guests

By / 25th May, 2017 / Uncategorized / Off

25 May 2017

A thirsty kereru’s (native wood pigeon) thirst is satisfied. Look at these amazing photos taken by last weekend’s Guests.  He had spotted our ruru (owl) photo on our website, (thought it must have been a decal stuck to the window.  It wasn’t!)  Because of this, he came with his camera charged and ready.  I mentioned that many birds are now using the birdbath on the front lawn, in full view from the B’&B’s lounge windows and deck: wax eyes, tui, fantail and kereru.  He took many photos, but these are his two best and he very kindly gave us the pics, with his best wishes!

At this time of year, the trees around the B&B are supplying birds with a range of seeds from the native trees.  These include lancewood, five fingers, nikau and cabbage trees.A thirsty Kereru (Wood Pigeon) on wing

Upgrade of the Second Bed.

By / 25th April, 2017 / Uncategorized / Off

25 April 2017

We have just installed a Queen size tilt down wall bed with a super luxurious Sierra 2 mattress, brand “Askobed” .  This is a significant ‘upgrade’ for the second couple or third person who will  use of the ‘second’ bed in the lounge.  The days of Guests using the sofa bed are over, as it’s good bye to the old and in with the new!

The sofa bed had been satisfactory but the improvement has meant our Guests now have the convenience of a real bed, which can be put away into the cabinet without having to re-make it each day.  It no longer occupies floorspace during the day, and is easily lowered when they are ready to sleep.  Perfect!

We had always felt that the second couple got a second rate deal, and that the couples should ‘choose straws’ to determine who got the bedroom with it’s king size bed.  But this is no longer the case and they also have the advantage of a fabulous bush view from their bed.  Can’t wait for the Guests to be impressed as much as us!

Ready made Queen bed tilted up into its cabinet

Cancellations mean we are available in April 2017 after all

By / 27th March, 2017 / Uncategorized / Off

27 March 2017

Due to 2 cancellations, Bush Sand and Sea B&B has become available again in April 2017.  We would welcome new enquiries and will work hard to tailorise your stay.

Now available this Friday 13 and Saturday 14 January

By / 10th January, 2017 / Uncategorized / Off

Due to a late cancellation, we are now available this friday 13 January and Saturday 14 January.  Make the most of a summery friday night down at Bethells Beach, enjoy the great food on offer from the Bethells Cafe, plus live music.  This Friday its Johnny and the Cashtones.  Cancelled if wet.

Freshness of spring with burst of new blooms and bird activity!

By / 1st October, 2016 / Blog / Off


1 October 2016. SPRING!  Best time of the year, in my opinion.

In between the showers of rain, there are great moments to be had out here and in the Bethells Valley. 9 years ago, as the Unit was being built, I planted a clematis seedling off the rear deck, and tied it, as it grew taller and taller, onto the kauri tree.  Well i did know that kauri trees don’t like things growing on them (they are epiphyte intolerant), and it kept throwing the clematis off!  Luckily the five finer and coprosma next to the kauri didn’t mind…the result, it is now flowering for the first time ever!  HOORAY!

Plus all 3 of my clematis babies on the driveway are also in full bloom.  I can look our across the valley from my tale and see spots of white clematis and the yellow of the kowhai trees, also madly blooming.  The kereru have decimated our 2 young kowhai in our mitigation planting area (never pays to be early flowerers), but luckily all the others are now out too.

The Tui birds are also very feisty as they spar and compete for good partners.  Lots of activity out here and only 1 free weekend in the whole of October which is the last month to use out “stay 3 nights for the price of 2” policy for the off peak season.

Electric car has arrived and free charges for EV Guests

By / 4th July, 2016 / Blog / Off

IMG_20160704_095429161IMG_20160704_0954160014 July 2016

We were so excited to receive our Gen2 Leaf in January and I completely forgot to post about it.  lol.  We love it and getting an electric car is definitely the right thing to do.  Everything lined up: great deal from the wonderful Autolinks Cars in Grey Lynn, Auckland (; time for Alan to research and match our needs and wants to price and availability.  It felt good to select a car, wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive off the boat, and know that Autolinks are so concerned that we still felt the choice was right, that even up to the day of collection, we could still have changed our mind.  I have never met a car Dealer Owner like Henry and staff, Sarah.  We went through a learning curve, almost like learning to drive a car all over again, because you need to think about our driving range (estimate only of km “in the tank”) and the route.  Folk talk about ‘range anxiety’ but we quickly got over that.  Long trips definitely need a 100% charge and carefully plotted route.  An 80% charge is enough for most of our usage and we reckon it costs us $2.50 for 100km of travel!  We can also now advertise that any Guest staying here, with their own electric car, can re-charge for FREE!

Beautiful fly-over video

By / 1st April, 2016 / Blog / Off

Exciting happenings at Bush Sand and Sea B&B.  We were approached by a local company to fly a drone up and over the B&B, to give people a birds-eye-view of the Unit itself.  We thought it would be helpful to show where it sits on our 10 acres of native bush, its proximity to our home, (a common question from prospective Guests), and it clearly shows the 2 distinct buildings, separated by a garage.  We like our peace, quiet and privacy too!  It gives a lovely view of the valley with its lush regenerating rainforest.  The distortion of its 360 lens makes the beach look far away.  We are 7 mile ‘as the crow flys’ and hence made our name “Bush Sand and Sea”.  It was designed to be descriptive- we are IN the “bush”, which you are surrounded by, you look out over to the “sand” and beyond to the “Sea”.  We are not AT the sea.  People can and do enjoy walking there in 45 minites, or drive in 10 mins.  It gives our Guests the privacy while being the ONLY GUESTS here, and not amongst a cluster of cabins!

The drone didn’t pick up the spa nor our track, so we added some stills taken down the track just this week. Check out our revitalised website, PLUS new video link on These drones are amazing and cute and we are thrilled with the effort of this budding company.

Click here to watch the video

Unfortunately I missed the action, but arrived in time to see their shining faces, (hot day and they had just come back up the track), their eyes brimming with enthusiasm.  The video is now on our Home page.


Plenty of food for native pigeons

By / 16th March, 2016 / Uncategorized / Off

feeding on the cabbage treefeeding time16 March 2016

The Kereru, NZ pigeon, are busily feeding on the fruit of the cabbage tree on the rear deck of the B&B. The building was designed to accommodate the tree as a feature of the rear deck.  It is currently fruiting, so for a precious 1-3 weeks, at this time of year, the kereru can be spotted right outside the unit on the rear deck.  They are so clownish.  They are clumsy birds, swoop in gracefully and land with a clatter onto the bush.  They will hang upside down, edge along the fruit spikes, trying to reach every ripe berry.  They frequently drop off and have to fly up and off, then returm for another try.  I think this is such a special time of the year.

They eat fruit from about 70 species of plants but are the Only bird which can swallow whole the fruit of mata, miro, tawa, puriri, taraire and karaka.  These seeds can be the size of a 20 cent piece.  These forest giants rely on the kereru for their survival as the birds consume the fruit and disperse the then fertilised seed.

I took these pics on monday this week, while cleaning the glass of the bifold doors.