August 2019

Alastair Mackintosh Reports: Hi Will. Nothing to report this last month. I was away overseas most of it though had traps set for the last 10 days. House sitters very impressed with the tuis & bellbirds feeding within a couple of meters of the kitchen window. Took dozens of photos. Tame ducks back, as are my small flock of quail. Cock pheasant in residence and the odd rabbit. Great to see. Regards, Alastair.

Will Reports: Only 78 more natives planted this month but we have been along some of the tracks, picking up natives that have sprung up along the track edges and transplanted them out off the tracks. Some have been taken up to early plantings to help restore the undergrowth. A lot of old plant sleeves have been taken off established plants and removed from the gully. We have reused a lot, sometimes up to four times so guess they have served us well. Our neighbours are doing well too with the Rayward’s clearing of the pest plants and sowing grass while the Wilks’ have been clearing and planting natives and gave us 10 kanuka plants. They might be manuka – we’ll find out in the future.

I gather native plant seed and set them out in my little hot house but I’ve been having trouble with sparrows who slip in and feed on fresh shots on my plants for gully. I’ll have to have a little talk to them.

On one of Bryan’s Possum Master traps, he has had trouble with a caught animal chewing through the cord and escaping. Twice. Pondering what to do, Kevin suggested using bike brake wire in place of the cord so we set it up, checked it once, but the animal hasn’t been back so I guess we’ve taught it to keep away from those things. The photo shows the bike brake cable installed on the trap.

The Possum Master trap with bike cable wire used.

Mike Oliver is now attending to the Possum Master and DOC200 & DOC150 traps in the gully (except for Bryan’s). John Wilson recently ‘retired’ (thanks John) and I had been looking after them.

Alison Nicholl Reports: Report for August. Many thanks to Will and Shirl for checking my traps over the last month while I was out of action. I am back to normal now. The count for August is 10 mice! It does seem a bit of a plague at present. The gully itself is as gorgeous as ever with the new plantings taking off. I seems only a few casualties from the February drought.

A weka helps itself to a rat from one of Bryan’s traps.
A weka helps itself to a rat from one of Bryan’s traps.

Bryan Riley Reports: Hi Will, Thanks for checking the possum trap. Have checked trap line, all but two traps were set off with baits gone. At least one trap had rat fur in the trap and there were weka feathers by the trap. Only the one rat to report for the month but am sure the weka are claiming more? Check out the attached photo! Caught in the act.

Mike Oliver Reports: (from the fire lookout ridge): For July – 6 mice and 2 rats. For August 4 mice and 3 rats.

Total Catches for August: 13 mice; 2 rats; 1 stoat.

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