End of Year Report 2021

Alastair Mackintosh Reports: Hi Will. Nothing much once again for this past month. Getting to be a bit of a habit. Which means perhaps – just perhaps – we are all getting on top of these nasties.

One hedgehog in total. All traps still in place, but not much sign of anything. More than usual activity with regards to Kereru at the moment. I think they may have nested once again in a conifer down my drive way. I did not check, as I have found from experience they do not like being disturbed in any way. Half tame Quail still about and will approach to within 3 m of me if I do not move too much.

Apart from that, plenty of Tui but thats about all for now. So I will wish all you good people a “Happy New Year”. Alastair.

Bryan Riley Reports:

December catch totals.
Wilks Line — 1 rat. Waterfall Line — 1 possum.
Several traps were vandalised on both lines.

Bruce Harvey Reports: Happy New Year to you and all. December was very quiet for trapping with just one mouse caught. I have extended my trap line a little down into Jimmy Lee, with 4 more traps. Cheers Bruce

Flax yellow seed heads.
Flax red seed heads.

Mike Oliver Reports: Mike’s Gully Lines: No catches. Vandals again! One rat trap hurled aside down by the stream. Tunnel repaired and will be reset.

On the Fire Lookout Lines: 3 mice, 2 rats, 3 possums. (not included in the gully catches)

Decembers total Gully Catches: 2 mice; 1 rat; 1 possum; 1 hedgehog; 3 wasp nests.

The Bad News

It’s that time of the year again (school holidays) when spoilt brats roam!

Three traplines in the gully have been needlessly damaged. One of the traplines is on private property too.

One of the rat tunells destroyed by someone and thrown into the creek.

Just wish parents would talk to their young people and if they go up in the gully. To tell them to stick to the main tracks and leave all else alone. If the parents don’t care, what will these little sods be like in a few years time?

All the area has plantings throughout which we would like to grow. If only they would leave alone, especially the traps. The material for the traps has been mostly donated by others but the balance and making of the traps has all been donated by us.

It’s a bit queer really, as most people that go up there, including young people, enjoy the area!

The Good News

Will Reports: Plantings in Will’s Gully for 2021 were 1817 plants, and the total planted since 2002 is 13,315. The three years before this was spent clearing weeds/scrub before the planting started, as we have to of course, for all areas before any planting can be done.

The 2021 trapping resulted in: 154 mice; 94 rats; 4 weasels; 2 possums; 12 hedgehogs; 3 waspnests and 1 cat: total 270 pests.

Trapping started in 2008 and since then 2014 pests have been trapped.

Note: A couple of traplines were extended from around 2019.

Rainfall: The 2021 yearly rainfall at my place was 1466mm which is 119mm more than the yearly average (over 22 years). Rainfall upon Grassy Saddle seems to be about 8 – 10% more than my place.
Years with the lowest rainfall were: 2007 = 965mm; 2009 = 902mm; 2015 = 830mm; 2020 = 924mm.

Mike Oliver who was at the Richmond Hills Fire Lookout for many summers and recently retired, has given me his pest tallies from when he started up there from1994 until 2018:

180 Possums; 201 hares; 31 ferrets (no more caught after 1999); 16 stoats; 7 weasels; 116 rats; 313 mice; 129 rabbits; 6 hedgehogs; 106 cats and 60 goats. A pretty good effort over all those years and he started before it became ‘fashionable’!

Titoki seedlings popping up.

More Donations:
Thanks to Maureen Schmidt for her donation of three cabbage trees. We planted them near Grassy Saddle on the Gully side. She has some more for us for next year too.

And to Paul Peychers; He dropped off 84 native plants; long grasses, plus various other species. We have planted about 72 so far. The rest we will look after through the summer and plant next season. To Brian McDonald for his continuing gift of native plants for the gully and to Brent Beloe for his donation of larger trees.

Also to Meryl Jordan who donated 15 lancewoods, and 2 pseudopanax, all potted, which we will also look after through the summer and plant out next season.

Thanks also to Ken Lefever, and one of our gully neighbours, Mark, for their donations. With their help, we intend to buy some bait for the traps.

Thank you to our gully neighbours; Peter, Michelle & Simon and Rob.

Thanks to our four trappers, Bryan, Bruce, Mike & Alastair, who have donated much of their time attending to their traplines over the years. Not forgetting Ewing’s Poultry and Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter for donating bait for the traps.

The exit on the Bottoms Track.

Thanks also to our ‘retired’ past trappers: Alison Nicoll, Shirley Rickerby, Doug Simpson & Earl Troughton, and John Wilson.

Thanks to Kevin for his help and growing all those plants and then planting them all. Also to Ross C, Dawn, John and Jeana for their help in ‘cleaning up’ around the plantings and such, – to the phantom track overhanging plant snipper, and to anyone who I’ve forgotten!

Thanks again for all of your practical donated time and effort.

The law locks up both man and women
Who steals the goose from off the common;
But turns the greater felon loose
Who steals the common from the goose.

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