Another great day. Sunny, no wind, no cloud, cold. Today I went out onto Waterloo Line. Have not been there for a while. They have started to cut down the Sycamore trees! Looks all different. They are going to disturb some of my traps!
Anyway got to T3 and had a well mangled maggoty possum. Disposed of it and re baited. That is now over 30 possums for that trap. They just keep coming and coming. You would think it is not possible but there it is.
Then further down got to D43 and had a large juicy rat. Again disposed of it and reset. That was the first rat for that trap since August! Now on I go to T42 and another possum! Again has done many possums that area. Then further along I get to T44 and another possum. The last one on the line had nothing.
That was it. Another three possums and one more rat. Good day. Last year in May we had only 15 possums and now going slow methinks we have already 19. Last year in June we had 35! So we have to see whether that is a pattern or not. If possums are more around in June, it is very cold, then we should get over 40 possums because we have a lot more traps out there.
Very good day today. Nice and sunny, a bit windy too and cold. Good for possuming. Started on Northern Line and re baited all the traps. Got to last one TR11 and it had a possum! Then crossed over to Circle Line and T34 had another possum! Made it to lookout point with nothing more.
It was not too late so I decided to go home the other way which is Piccadilly Line. Got to coalmine and T46 down there had yet another possum! Great. Then along the walk I came across D19 and it had a very old many dirty rat in there. Cleaned it all out and made my way. Then up to Central Station and along traps there and got to T10 and another possum! Impossible. But it is true.
Then also I took camera back home. It was for a week near TR6 because there the lure always disappeared and the apple and quince was always eaten. Well now we know why. First there came a cat! Did not eat apple. Then came a hedgehog. Took the apple and disappeared. Then came a rat. Also took some apple and then at last came a possum. It took some quince only a bite and left the rest. Too sharp. You could just see it on its face. So no more quinces for possums. They do not like it. Apple far better choice.
Now I have to deploy a yellow trap there plus a rat and stoat trap. A very targeted approach. There are always lots of birds in those trees. Like the other day there were maybe twenty silvereyes. They need protection.
Not a great report. Set out onto Piccadilly Line and got a possum down by the coalmine, T46. Quite a small one. A youngster. But my real interest today was the new traps we installed last week. Dr. Who and Lady Sue. Anyway the first one had nothing but then to my surprise the second one, D68 had a large rat! Did not expect it because the traps are so new and clean.
Normally rats take a long time to get used to something new in their backyard. So I was hopeful. But that was the only one. A mystery is one trap that had been triggered and all peanut butter gone but no catch. Then another mystery was that some traps had no blue or red marker hanging out. I open one and there it was. Neatly tucked inside. It was Dr Who! He did all the setting of traps and sometimes just left the bottle tops inside.
Then I went up to Northern Line and got nothing. Still got the camera there but it did not record anything but all the lure is gone. I think the camera was too far away to pick up movement of rats. So moved it much closer and have to see.
Then I went up to lakeside and D150/1 had the marker sucked in. So I knew something must be inside and I expected a mouse, maybe rat but no it was a nice little stoat!! That made my day. You can see it in attached picture. Thought all stoats had been got up there. But no.
Today there was nothing. Gorgeous autumn day but no catches. But good news is that I met a crew of workers down there and I asked them what they were doing. They are going to cut down all the sycamore trees! A job now I do not have to do. So they close the walkway for public for a while. I can still go and do the trapping. I am so pleased not only that they cut them down but that a government department takes an interest in the forest down there. Maybe I can get some more money from them and get more traps!!
The sycamore are a real worry for me. Because they have overtaken a few areas and they just shade out the native trees which then die of course. There are some now trying to grow near the coalmine and I have already cut quite a few down but now I told these guys where I want them to cut down these weeds. Of course I will have to have an eye on it and get rid of any new growth and pull out seedlings. Which I already do. Every day I am down there I do weeding too. It is a huge garden to me. Just beautiful. And now the birds in it makes it an aviary even.
Great achievement. Right on time we were down by river and jet boat there as well. So loaded all twenty traps onto boat and then us and then we took off. Not at great speed but fast enough No twirlies either. Just a plain old jet boat ride for the business of delivering rat traps to some part of the walkway.
Got them all off the boat without getting wet and then Blair the driver left us. He had to land some distance from the beginning of the walk because he needed a deep landing spot. Not to worry. We started immediatley ferrying the traps to walkway and stacked them there. Then Dr Who volunteered to get all the traps to the spot. So Lady Sue and myself started deploying the traps. Started with number D50 right at the bottom, opening it and put peanut butter into it and then closing it. Then numbering it and I had to do the GPS location. Then off to next one.
Once all the traps were there we started lugging the traps all the way up to the proper walkway which is quite some distance and rather steep. I took one after the other. Sue looked tired just after the first one. So she would come up and I come down and take it off her and then go back up again and stack the traps up there.
When that was done we had a nice system going. First I place a trap and Jon and Sue would do the opening, luring and numbering and I do the GPS. Then I would take another trap put it into position, GPS, and leave it there for them to do. Because I was faster than them. But not by much. Because I always had to come back and pick up another trap and take it further up. So that made my job longer each time. The same we did on the walkway proper. First to the left we did six traps and then to the left which was seven traps. It all worked splendidly and by 1.45pm we had them all in position!!
That was great but now we had to walk all the back to the bridge and the car. It got very tiring and on the way I checked more traps which meant climbing up the side and it all took time. It was 4.15 when we got to car. So that is five hours of hard work. They were totally worn out and I made them something to eat when we got back. Then they had to drive back to Christchurch.
No possum today but eight rats! So not bad. And twenty more traps doing a good job and all the time we heard bellbirds and saw fantails!
Weather was much better than forecast. So did go out to do Waterloo Line. And good it was too. First trap down was T4 and it had a possum! That is a first for that trap and it has been there since November! Just go to say again I can never move the traps or at least not for some time. That spot did get a few more possums with another trap but then I stopped it because just no more possies!
Then I got to T10. It had nothing in it. That is the one I baited with quinces and got a possum. Turns out it is a young one as the camera which I had on the spot showed them turning up sometime after midnight. The youngster got done and so we still have the other one to get. I re baited again with quinces as Charlie Brown only used apple. Very interesting now. Whether the quince is better than the apple.
After that I got to T41. Looked down from way up the walkway and saw the trap overturned with possum in it. So had to climb down and move it. On the way I also re baited T40 with quince and then T41 with quinces.
After that only D47 had a hedgehog. But now all traps on the line are baited with quinces. They smell of course more than the apple and also they keep longer because they are much harder. Have to see in two days.
Small one. I did not go out because peeps but Charlie Brown is back. He got a possum in T10 which is amazing. Did not catch a possum there since August 2nd last year! I baited that with quinces just to see what happens. And hey they must like them. So now we need 9 more to get 600!! Not much to go now. Also I had the camera there. Will retrieve that maybe on Monday. Would be my first kill video! Probably gruesome.
Went out with heavy load of five new traps. Plus all the tools to install them. But first I went through Central Station and got a possum straight away in T5. That is amazing. They just keep on coming and coming.
Then over stile and first trap had a rat. D2. Done a few rats now that trap. Good location. Then on to Piccadilly and nothing until D25 which had another rat. Only second one for that one. But good.
Then up and along Circle Line and installed the five traps A43, A44, A45, A46, A47. You can see on map. Now a gap has been closed with more traps so the rats cannot escape. Still some way to go and some of it will have to be wooden boxes as I could not find proper trees to put the A24.
Tomorrow Jon is coming again and we will do the last ten A24. Just have to find good places
Very nice day today. A little bit windy but hey one has to go trapping! So started out on Northern Line and nothing. Then went down Island and Circle Line and had to get to T21 to get a possum or what was left of it. Completely eaten and only tail and bones left. Distgusting.
Then that was all. But a re baited all the traps down there so hopefully we get more possums. If not then we have to assume that we nearly got them all. I do not believe that but who knows.
By the way it might have been a slow April but last year we had 15 possums in April and this year we have 23 possums. So it has after all been a very good month.
I attach a file with a graph of the possums caught so far. And compare with last year. We are ahead of last year. So good. Wonder how June will turn out because there we have 35 possums last year!