July was quite a busy month. Spent June in Europe. So only limited amount of trapping has been going on. Nevertheless trapper Jon and Sue, trapper Lindsay and trapper Margaret and Anthony have been out a few times while we were away. They did a great job and I am so grateful that they come out and look after the traps.
Between us we have been 19 times on different lines and getting lots of vermin. The total for July is 14 possums, 7 stoats or weasels and 45 rats. We really seem to get the rats now. The traps have been there just over a year and start becoming attractive to rats. Mind that we often re-lure them with peanut butter which always makes a difference.
We also deployed 10 more Timms traps for possums and 12 tunnel rat traps with a T-Rex trap inside. It will take some time to see how effective these are going to be.
Total of predators eliminated is now almost 2000 and we hope by the end of August that it will be more than that. Another milestone will be a 1000 rats and 800 possums. All getting very close.
We also observe lots of Kowhai trees in flower and always bellbirds feeding in them. It is a delight to see and to hear! Hopefully the birdies will fatten themselves up on the nectar and then be ready for laying their eggs in late September and during October. Busy time ahead.
Anyway possums are go again. Had one down by the coalmine in T46. All eaten by a cat I think. Then further up in the same stream gully was another one T54. Also mangled and eaten by cat. I know there is a cat around there. It was on camera a while ago. Must make more effort to get it.
Then again along the stream there was a rat in D35. Very good. Tomorrow trapper Lindsay is out. So I do not have to go. Might deploy more traps around golf course. See how I go.
Anyway today was wonderful day and I thought why not I can do the golf course traps. Always good for an easy outing. Still about two hours. I walk right from house onto golf course and first trap is not far. Nothing in it. Nothing in second one either. But then I get to TD3 by the small lake and see something sticking out. I open it and it is a nice large stoat. How good is that. Then around the lake is another trap and when I approach the marker has been sucked up. Something must be inside.
Open it and it a small weasel. Just about the same as the stoat but smaller. What a day. From then on I walk the other traps and nothing in them all. Back up the hill to lakeside and nothing there either. Now on homeward run. Get to TD6 and again the marker is up and I have to check. It is another weasel! Then I have to walk around back onto golf course again and down to lake.
The trap I have by a large tree is completely submerged in water. I leave it. Never seen the lake so full. Around I walk and get to trap TD9. It is floating in the lake! Normally it is high on dry ground. I see the marker right up and so decide to retrieve the trap with my walking pole. Open it and guess what: another weasel.
That is now three weasels and one stoat. Fantastic.
Still going. Was windy but warm and sunny. Cannot keep me back. Did Waterloo Line and got a rat in D36 and D37. Nothing after that. No possies. Also went down to bridge near Butch’s where they are replanting a large area with native trees. Before I had some traps in there but then they cut all the trees down and my traps have gone. Anyway the guys doing the planting asked me about trapping because if they do not trap the possums will eat the nice little plants as quick as they can put them in. So I went down and gave them four of my Timms traps and two rat traps.
What a good day. Lovely weather. Quite warm too. Wanted to do the traps on circle line. The rat traps. They needed new peanut butter. If nobody around trapper Robbie has to do it himself. So many traps.
Nothing we got on Piccadilly Line. Zilch. The new possum traps all empty. Disappointing on one way but of course very good in the other. Then the fun really started with the D traps on circle line. The very first one D65 had a rat! Then next one D64 had also a rat. Then D63 had yet another rat! Amazing. I was on a roll. But not for long. The next traps had nothing and I had to get to D57 for another rat. Then up the hill and D81 had a nice rat and next one D82 had the last one. That makes it six rats today and brings the total of rats up to 900!
Nine hundred rats we done so far! The birdies will start laying their eggs soon. Another month and they are on their way! There should be an explosion of birds in the summer. You should come again just to listen to it all!
All in all I checked 64 traps today. I am almost exhausted. Tomorrow is again circle line but it will be more on the possie front. New apple needed. And checking for dead ones. Hopefully on the weekend Lindsay comes and then he can do a big check of it all. Should have plenty of rats by then again with all this fresh peanut butter. I hope that by the end of the month we crack the 2000 number!
Good weather today. A bit windy not much. Went out to Piccadilly and first trap D2 had a rat, then close by D5 had another rat. Then nothing until I got to Northern Line and T18 had a possum. Next trap T16 had a hedgehog!
Five more predators gone. The birdies are go.
Anyway went out today in nice weather and quite warm. Did Waterloo Line. The one you did way back with me. Along walkway second trap had an enormous rat! How can they get so large? Then further along D43 hat another rat. Shaping to be a good day. Then towards end of line in T44 was a very mauled possum! Then surprise T45 had another one! On the way back I check Central Station traps and surprise surprise T1 had another possum!
So that is two rats and three possies. Plus I deployed yet two more traps along the line. They are Timms traps for possums. Now have to see in a few days what they achieve. Now all my Timms traps have been deployed. Have to order more.
Next on the list are really the fifty rat traps I have behind the garage. The heavy boxes. Have not heard from that young man last week. Did not expect anything anyway.
Good weather today. A bit warmer, sunny but still a bit windy. Did Piccadilly Line today and second trap down from gates had a possum! Now I was astonished. Because that trap has been there for yonks. And no possum for a long time. Now suddenly one turns up. Where did it come from? One of the last possies? Who knows.
In my rucksack I had three more traps for possies. I put them along the walkway in places where I see possum tracks. They might be old tracks or maybe new ones. So I put these new traps in places and have to see now what happens. If no possums are caught then maybe the area is free of possums. Who knows.
Then along the way I got a rat in D8 and another on in D22. The first one was fresh and the last one had been there for a long time. What do my trappers do I wonder. Because two of them went down there yesterday. Did they walk right passed my first trap and did they not know about the second trap? Who knows what they do.
The first Kowhai flowers. Did all the traps on the island today. Three hours! Nothing but one hedgehog! So now all ready again with fresh apple and waiting for the possies if there are any left. The Kowhai will now bloom until nearly end of October providing lots of nectar for the bellbirds. Of course the possums are after them as well but with so many gone now there should be plenty left for the birdies.
One more rat today. Did what I set out to do which was to re bait all traps on the golf course. Been much neglected since we left. Now all back in order. Was a nice day but very cold wind. It will be interesting now to see whether we get more rats or stoats with peanut butter. Rats struggle a bit when it is so cold. They do not like it. Hardly any birds around too. Heard one bellbird and saw two or three fantails. Lots of ducks on the lakes. Maybe that is because more of them survived after my trapping.