March Report 2022

Will Reports: It has been a good growing season; now and then. January and March had less than average rainfall but February had more than three and a half times the monthly average so it seems that this made up for the shortfall in the other months.

And with all the carbon around (so they say) it has been great for the trees and shrubs for growth and producing all that extra oxygen for us. Yet, with all the plants that we have put in over twenty years, not one will go towards the carbon trading scheme. Seems a bit weird doesn’t it? I think they should just scrap it and spend the time, effort and money, cleaning up the country
conservation wise and restore the countryside back to nature as much as possible.

Most of the activity this last month has been releasing plants and working away with the weedeater along the margins. Many thanks to the team for the effort over a couple of days up on Grassy Saddle!

A pile of old sleeves ready to be disposed of.

Kevin Piper Reports: Most of March has been very warm and dry. Rain from February had largely evaporated, and with only a millimetre or two in early and mid-March the ground on the hill had really dried out and some plants were looking pretty sad. A good rain last week was very useful. Average temperatures have only dropped by about one degree over the past month.

Early in March Will and I did some search and destroy missions on Banana Passionfruit, Old Man’s beard and Himalayan Honeysuckle, and although we scored quite a few, I guess this won’t be the last we see of these pest weeds.

Despite the dry, weeds and grass have flourished among the plantings on the saddle. Two working bees using hand cutting and weed-eaters have cleared around the plants, and inside the covers, to give a better chance for plants to get ahead. Thanks to the members of the group, Bruce, Ross, Bryan, Mike, Bruce, Peter, Lee for their hard work clearing and releasing plants, and thanks to Alistair for providing fertiliser and water to encourage the native plants to get on with it!

Kevin is after a pest weed on Grassy
Bryan in the thick of it on Grassy Saddle.

Bryan Riley Reports: Hi Will, Hope all is well with you and yours?
It’s been a great summer and we are also having a good autumn. Not much wind and mild.
Trap catches — Wilks line — 5 Rats 4 Mice.
Waterfall Line — 1 Rat 1 mouse.
Cheers, Bryan.

Alastair Mackintosh Reports: Hi Will. Trapping moved up a notch this past month with 11 mice, 2 rats and a hedgehog. One more rat escaped alive when recovering a badly closed trap. Will be lucky to catch that one again! Half tame quail flock seems to stabilised at 11. Quite a few fantails about
including a couple of black ones. Tui starting to look into the bird feeder, so will begin feeding shortly. About all for now. Regards, Alastair.

Bruce Harvey Reports: Hi Will, Big increase in catches this month with 8 rats and 10 mice being dispatched. Enjoying the company of fantails again, always several following along while I am checking the traps. Cheers Bruce

Mike Oliver Reports: Walking down Henry Road saw two hen or young pheasants fly off up the hill and into the scrub. No sign of any weka in the gully though. Mike’s Gully Lines: 1 mouse, 4 rats and 1 weasel. (On Mike’s Fire Lookout Lines: ( 2 mice, 3 rats).

Ross Cullen Reports: I was up this gully this afternoon (22 March); worked on three tasks: Removed the clematis and other junk at base and up the eucalyptus tree in the hollow. Gelled a couple of large clematis. Need to get back and chainsaw off stumps of some barberry and gel them too. Cut and gelled smallish hawthorn and gorse in natives as you walk up narrow strip towards Grassy Saddle. De-limbed quite a bit of the big hawthorn that we scarfed and gelled last year. I will finish that off soon with chainsaw. There are a couple of sawn-off branches to get onto the ground but they are not over the track.

The area we cleared of weeds last week looks better now.

The bluegum cleared of weeds by Ross.

(Thanks to Ross for the photos)

This months total Gully Catches: 27 mice, 20 rats, 1 hedgehog & 1 weasel. Plus 4 wasp nests.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *