October 2021

Kevin Reports: We have had a good Spring with rain scattered through, and this has been good for plant growth. We have planted or replanted the last of the trees and shrubs for the season. A new table has been placed on Grassy Saddle, thanks to David Burt and Richard Hilton for their help. Runoff from the cleared forest land has caused problems with the walking track, and our next project is to try to divert excess water to keep them from becoming muddy and scoured.

Will Reports: It’s been another good late seasons growth, just hope the summer isn’t too dry. Still many dogs running around not under control. One day I was planting and heard some dog barking then a dog came bounding down Henry Rd towards the locked gate. I waited for about 2-3 minutes, wondering where the owner was. No sign so kept on working. About 5 to 6 minutes later a women walked past with the dog. No wonder all the weka have disappeared!

The big Climate change conference in Scotland now. I wonder if they all stayed at home and cleaned up their own backyards would be better time and money spent? Or put the money towards improving wind turbines, tidal turbines or solar power? Maybe it would go a long way to installing water tanks in every house?

Isn’t it strange that with all the work we have done in the gully over 20 or so years, nothing of this counts towards climate change? Plus of course, of all the similar work other done by all the other groups in our area. All of these plants absorb CO2 don’t they?

John & Jeana Report: We have had one session last month again freeing up established plants from their plastic protection (some trees again bursting around the trunks with the plastic) on the Office track and trees around the Pumpkin Patch area. Careful not to disturb other seedlings coming through.

Bryan Riley Reports: Hi Will, October catches

Wilk’s line – 3 mice

Waterfall line 1 rat and 1 possum

Cheers Bryan

Ross Cullen Reports: I had a tip from Peter Wilkes about a flowering hawthorn on the way up to Wills Gully, so I went up there this morning and in Fossil Steps area cut out six tall hawthorn, one big multi stem barberry and five clematis. Gel applied. I will keep an eye on the area for regrowth and little barberry springing up. I went back up the track to do some tidying up later, got the stems on ground, and found another large hawthorn with a large vine growing on it. I have not touched the tree so far. Maybe drill and poison?

Bruce Harvey Reports: Hi Will, Very quiet month of trapping at Grassy saddle with just 2 mice disposed of. Maybe a good sign that numbers are down. I have extended the trap line with 4 traps added at the Jimmy Lee creek end. Great to see the table back, I have heard some very positive comments about this. Cheers Bruce

Mike Oliver Reports:

Mike’s Gully Lines: 2 mice,5 rats.

On the Fire Lookout Lines: 3 mice & 1 rat.

Alastair Mackintosh Reports: Hi Will. Nothing much this past month. One hedgehog is all. Saw the first weka since the beginning of the year recently. Watched it snooping around an area where I suspect there was a quail nest. Later saw the pair standing around looking forlorn so suspect the weka got the eggs. However still others around to feed. On that subject: Quite surprised to observe a black bird regularly eating seed I feed out. More surprised still to see her picking it up and feeding it to her young. I was also surprised to see what birds were eating the half apples put out. Quail, sparrows, starlings, blackbirds plus the weka. Could not work out where the skin shells that remained were going until I saw a young rabbit eating them. All for now, Alastair.

This months total Gully Catches: 9 mice; 7 rats, 1 possum, 1 hedgehog.

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