April Report 2022

Will Reports: A big thank you to Janice Gibbs! Courtesy of the birds, she had many totara and other natives seedlings popping up in her garden and when she offered them, just couldn’t refuse. I ended up with 44 totara, 2 pseudopanax, 1 lemonwood & 2 coprosma. Most have been potted up for
planting out later.

Kevin also has had around 40 odd native plants donated too – karaka, koromiko, manuka, kanuka, coprosma, etc. plus another lot from Ross McDonald, then there are some from Brian Hirst. And Kevin and I have our own lot too.

Looks like we are going to be busy over the winter months? One day there will be a forest up there!

A big increase in mice caught this last month and even a ferret in one of Bryan’s traps! This looked to be a young one so I hope there is no more of them about.

Kevin & I did some more weedeating/clearing and also did some minor plantings. Just getting ready for the planting season coming up. Need some rain! We had 46mm of rain at our place but the monthly average is (or was) 123mm. Not the lowest on record though.

One wonders at the large number of mice caught. Could it be the disappearance of the gully weka? Too many dogs running free, weka numbers reduced – mice population increases. Human’s upsetting the balance of nature again?

We are trying to sort the balance! Apart from irresponsible humans, we have the virus that has attacked and killed most of the kawakawa. This has resulted in most of the understory in the older bush in the gully to have disappeared but some younger plants seem to be recovering thankfully. Hopefully, within a few years we will have Janice’s totaras filling some of the gaps.

Bryan Riley Reports: Hi Will, Wilks line – 3 rats,9 mice,1Ferret; Waterfall line — 3 rats. A number of fantails following me around but not a Weka to be seen! I suspect the cheeky Weka are in the area? A number of traps have been set off by rats/mice and have then been pulled off site and raided!! Only a tuft of hair or two left in the trap!!
Cheers, Bryan.

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Kevin clearing weeds on Grassy Saddle. He got a wack just above the eye for his trouble too.

Alastair Mackintosh Reports: Hi Will. Total for the month of April : 6 mice and 3 hedge hogs. All these in the first week or so and no others since. Bird life about the same with the quail coming and going. At times I do not see them for a few days, but that is normal for this time of the year. Other birds have finished with the plums, nashi’s, pears and grapes and are now into my apples. After that it will be my persimmons. Some of the biggest offenders are bell birds! But that does not matter too much as we still get all we need. All for now, Alastair.

Bruce Harvey Reports: Hi Will, During April there were 5 rats and 13 mice caught around Grassy saddle. Big increase in mouse numbers this month. During the School holidays there were increased numbers of walkers, and
some traps were ‘relocated’. Cheers Bruce

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Will on weed control duty.

Mike Oliver Reports: That he caught 2 mice in one trap and then again 2 mice in one trap – not the same trap though! Magic traps? Not so good are the plastic Chinese made rat traps. About six of them going if anyone wants one. Mike is going to see if he can modified them to be worthwhile. The American made are much better.

While checking his trapline once, he spotted a mouse running up and down a tree trunk. Thought there might have been a nest up the tree but didn’t see anything. Up on his trapline on the main ridge (Fire lookout) the stoat he caught was 370mm over all length, the longest he had seen. Some you pig sign about too.

Mike’s Gully Lines: 10 mice, 4 rats and 1 weasel.
(On Mike’s Fire Lookout Lines: ( 3 mice, 3 rats & 1 stoat.)

This months total Gully Catches: 38 mice, 15 rats, 3 hedgehog & 1 weasel, 1 ferret & 2 wasp nests.

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