What progress we made for the fantails in the bush! In fact the forest looks lovely, new growth everywhere and an energy almost palpable. Seed production in full swing. Saplings pushing up in the undergrowth and of course busy birds feeding the young ones. And everything has a better chance of survival. The seeds will be there for the birds, the new plants will grow into bigger ones all because there are fewer possums around as we have now removed more than 200 of them! Now that is good news.
Our traps extend now from our access point at Terrace Downs down the river for about 1k to the lookout above the Rakaia. There are now over 40 traps which we check three or four times a week. We have three lines: Piccadilly Line, Circle Line and the newest one: Waterloo Line. Our access point is called Central Station. Makes it all more fun! And I can better remember where all the traps are!
Some bird lore
A Tui couple gently wings through the forest and he calls to his wife: who, who is this? It is I, the pretty one, the lovely one and he shakes his white tassel and sings: horohoro-horo. And they both fly higher up into a kiekie climber plant and she sings to him: let us eat of the sweet fruit of the kiekie: ma taua, ma taua. And they both feast on the fruit and he sings again like a flute, like a long soft whistle: hu hu e, whio-o, whio-o.
Such is the song of the Tui in the forest of Tane. Sadly there are no Tuis in the forest in the Rakaia Gorge. But hopefully it will not be long before they return. So thank you all again for your support and interest in the fantail trust.
Also we have now a lovely greeting card for sale. You might need some for upcoming Christmas! They sell for $5.00 each and all proceeds go to the trust. In Christchurch you can buy them at Scorpio Books!
Another massacre down there! 9 possies this time. If you look at map number 31 again has not produced anything. Why? Maybe have to wait a bit longer. Then 32 had one. What a relief because I had Barry with me. You know the neighbour who injured himself doing the traps for us for a week or so. I wanted to impress him! Then number 34 had one. Barry did not mind to remove it and throw it over the cliff. Then 36 had another one. It was starting to become interesting. Then 39 had one and then we got to number 40 and wow four possies! Barry moved them all and then on the way back number 38 had the last one. So good day in all in pouring rain. But good. Now total number 203!! Maybe 250 now by Christmas?! Next checking date 27th November.
Today was another crazy day down in the gorge. 13 possums! Unbelievable. I am chuffed. Started from your trap 27 towards the bridge. All new traps. The next one is 31. No possum. Very disappointed. Then on it went. 32 had one. Then 33 had three! And so on each trap one possum and then 38 another two and finally 40 another two.
Plus one hedgehog in trap DOC250/2! Look it up on the map.
Now tomorrow big round of trapping. Checking the other 30 traps on the other side. Could be another few. But now it seems we are going to make 200 hundred by Christmas. Total now 190 possies!! Poor things. The walkway will start to stink of dead possies and no walkers will want to come through! Mind you I make sure to throw them really far and way down to the river. But one today got stuck in a tree just down the slope and I could not get to it. Not many walkers will notice. Today there was a dead possum right next to the walkway and I only saw it because it smelled. Two women who usually walk the walkway every day and I know them went right passed it. So most walkers just walk and look where they step rather than looking into the bush.