You must be sick and tired of all these reports. Day after day! Now today we got a hedgehog in T18. Nasty thing. Then TR5 had a possum to my great surprise. The first one for that trap. Then I walk along through trees and third trap in, TR8, also had possum. Again to my surprise. First one too for this trap. Again baited with apple instead of lure. It must really be the fresh apple that gets the possies.
Re lures: apparently somebody, a scientist, has developed a lure that rats, stoats and possums find irresistable. I am trying to find out where I can get it. So far no luck. It seems to be a wonder lure. And really in my opinion it all depends on the lure one uses. The machines we have work, they kill, but the possums or rats have to be lured in otherwise no kills.
Today I also put more markers out there. Each trap has its proper number and location. I bought some more blue labels to put on trees and then I can write on it with number, date and line. Then I also bought some blue tape for orientation. In places where traps are hard to find I put tape onto trees so the traps are easy to find. Safes a lot of time. Especially I was thinking of Charlie Brown. He gets lost sometimes in the bush. Now he will have it much easier to find the traps. It is of course quite difficult to just remember where the traps are. Sometimes even I have to go back and forwards to get them. You know what. I left 11.30 and had to walk all the way down to the track and do all this work and it started raining too and it was cold, miserable, and I got home at 17.30! That makes it six hours. Sometimes I think the trust should buy me a case of wine. (Which I am drinking now)
Tomorrow onto Piccadilly again. Actually the Elizabethan Line will be quite handy. I want to do a new one all the way across the walkway. That is from the coalmine up and down the stream. But it will be a while. Have to cut a track first. Remember the trust bought me a nice little chainsaw.
Yes yes it is another massacre! We got 8 possies today! Could not believe it. Why? I know I lured all these traps on the 23rd with fresh apple. This is what I hoped for with all these new traps on Circle Line. All possums caught on Circle Line except last one which was on Northern Line. And all except 58 in yellow boxes. Have to order more.
Anyway started out a bit foggy and cloudy. Just hoped the rain would not catch me like last time. So made it to Circle Line along Northern Line if you look on map and then down to trap FT1 and 59 which are close together. Had camera there and it shows possums but still none has been killed in that location. Must put another yellow box there to see if that helps.
Then on to 26 which is below but nothing. Then along through high grass and thistles to 58. Hurray one possum. First one for the day. From there down more to T19 but nothing. Then the fun started. T20 had first possum then T21 and 57 which are a bit further along had both nothing. Then T22 had large possum. I thought this was it. But got to T23. Never caught a possum there. Number 56 was there for quite some time and never got one. Now this new yellow box had the first possum. I knew there were possums there. Then on to T24 and to my big surprise had a possum as well.
Then from there a bit slower. T26, T27 and T28 had nothing. Now all the way back up again and rather steep. And it started to rain also. Made it to 59 but nothing then nearby is FT3 which was empty. A bit further up is FT4 and nice possum hanging in there. Reset and relure. Fresh apple again. Then up to FT5 and yet one more possum. Same again. Set and lure. I was so pleased by then and just wanted to get home because it turned cold and it rained heavily and I had already seven possies.
But then out of curiosity I checked a trap on Northern Line and big surprise TR9 had a possum! That is only the third possum for Northern Line. Thought it would do many more and even considered removing them. But now maybe I wait for a while and make sure to bait with fresh apple.
So I wonder what was the reason for so many possums? Was it the weather? The night before was clear and quite cool and dry. Maybe now because everything is wet again from rain there will be less possums? Have to see. Not tomorrow though. Peeps. But now suddenly we are up on 488 and only 12 to go to 500 and end of year. Two more days like this and we are there. Come on possies!
Did Circle Line today. First time out since holiday. Was cloudy and a bit cold. Started on top of lookout this time walking down to FT5, then FT4. All nothing. Then FT3 was all open and not set. So I wonder what my assistant has done. Forgot to lure it and put it back again. Not possible for possum to open it. Then all the next traps nothing. But I got to T25. It is a bit hidden and hard to find. Because when I get there possum in it.
Possum so old and rotten hardly anything left. Must have been there for days. I try to remove it. Usually I grab the tail and then throw the possum into the bush. But because it was so rotten the tail comes right off and I have the tail in hand and possum still in trap! I throw the tail into the bush and then just pick up the trap and shake it until rest of possum falls out. Then I use my walking poles and pick it up and throw it over as well. What a mess. Maggots everywhere!
Then nothing in all the traps on Circle Line. Disappointing. But I had some time left so on way back I go up to lakeside traps and hello I get two hedgehogs. Bloody things. Where do they all come from. So many now.
Today I also saw a flock of silvereyes. Nice birds and I saw one yellowhammer. A lovely bird with a yellow head. Not native but still nice to see. Plus a few bellbirds.
Tomorrow it is Piccadilly Line. Have to get it all back in order again. Losing track of what traps are out there and what they caught. Just a few days of not being out there makes it harder. All the wooden boxes need to be checked as well and cleaned and new peanut butter. Very slowly catch the monkey.
One more possum today and two rats. It was not me who checked traps but our friend Marcel who has a house here. He is the doctor. Very good of him. He now has a key to open the boxes and take the rats out. Plus he bought some peanut butter as well. Today he is out there checking the yellow traps. I just sit back and wait for results to come in. Much easier. Just as long as he does not put his hand in and bang!
In future that is the way to go. I am the manager and send out volunteers to do the hard work. I take the credit. Plus I get the money in to buy more traps.
Only then where does my fitness go? That is the point of it all.
What a long day it has been and little reward. Wanted to check all traps on Piccadilly Line and some on Circle Line. Alas so many traps not working properly. No wonder they do not make them anymore. Next week I will have to go back and take them off, send them to Wellington and then wait for new ones. Then I have to go again and put them back on.
Was cold and cloudy too. Christine went to Christchurch because car needs repair so I started early at 9.15. Got back by 3. That is 5 ½ hours mucking around the bush. But it was beautiful. Bellbirds almost all the way. And the bush is growing everywhere. New seedlings coming up.
Then in D27 by the coalmine was my reward: a nice stoat. That counts for 10 possums!
Hurray, another report. This time it was our assistants. They done a great job. Three possums and one hedgehog. What hard work they did. Lucky for them the weather was bad for such a long time. No trapping. But when they went out they found three possums and the hedgehog. That is very good. One on Northern Line. Lucky them because I have not caught any possum there. TR9 it was. Then they had one in FT5 which has now done two in the last 10 days. Another one in TR3. Which is good because it seems that these new Flipping Timmy traps do work.
Your highlight of the day! Two more possies today. One in trap T22. Second one now for that trap and only been there for two days! Then the other was right here in our vegie garden. A bonus. Was after that one for about two weeks now. Had it on camera eating my vegetables. Now finally we got it. No escaping trapper Robbie!
Was such a hard day today. Very cold too. But I had six new traps in my backpack so I was lucky it was cold. Heavy pack together with electric screwdriver and other stuff. These are the new model. I will send picture soon. So first one I deploy where trap 56 has been for a while now and never got a possum. Had camera there and it shows possum. So have to see.
Then next one was way down by trap 61. Same story. No possum but evidence of possum. That is where the lovely flowers are. Why there? But then today I found another spot near trap 60 with more flowers. I must say this area reminds me most of my time in Switzerland in the Alps near Appenzell when we did the cow stuff. There were always flowers up there too some quite rare and now I have the same here.
Then I had to climb up the side of the fence between pasture and bush and find trees for these traps. First one was not too difficult. Next one was ok too but the third one was on steep slope and I had to cut a path to it. Just hope it is a good spot for possies. Then finally I made it to the top and the lookout point. But I had still a trap left. So I walk along see big pine tree and when I get to it two sheep underneath. Should not have been there. They are almost wild ones now. I have seen them last year too. Alas it was on the other side of fence!
So I go back and down the path to the old trap 22 which I have removed. Good spot for this new trap and now we have to see whether they are any good. Because in that spot I saw fresh evidence of possums! Only problem is the trap is bright yellow and it sticks out a bit in the landscape. Peeps will wonder what on earth is down there. It is quite steep to get to so nobody will go down. Of course if a possum goes in it will hang in there until I come and remove it. Maybe I have to move it further down where it cannot be seen. But hey we are the possum catchers and the peeps have the pleasure of hearing all the birds. They should congratulate us and give some money to the trust!
Now I had the idea to involve the local school a bit. Thought the children might paint some pictures on a suitable material, or write something, and I then will put it onto the wooden boxes for the walkers to see. What do you think could be used. Something not fading or rotting too soon.
Now I am having a glass of wine. Do you think the trust might buy me a case of wine for all the work?!
Today deployed five more traps. Yellow ones. All done now. When I went down onto island (Circle Line) I was very curious as to what we had caught overnight. The first trap T19 had nothing. Very disappointing. The next one T20 had nothing either and apple was still there. So no possum there that night.
But then got to T21 and finally a possum. The first in the new traps from yesterday. Very pleased. Our star performer trap 57 had nothing but lure all gone. Re lured. Then onto trap T22. And another possum! Now this trap is near one of my old automatic traps. I have taken it away now as I believe it did never work properly. I had the camera on the trap for a while and knew there to be possums. Lure was gone also each time I put fresh stuff on it. So there you go. The new traps might work better with the apple as lure.
Then next trap T23 had nothing. So all in all 2 more possums. 32 to go. Now if the new traps perform like last night then we might get there. Two a day would be fantastic. And now we have ten new traps not only five. I go tomorrow to check and also to install five more traps.
These I have not used before. They are called a Flipping Timmy. They go onto a tree and I have now located five trees which will be suitable. All on Circle Line. One will go near trap 56 because that is where the camera was and a possum showed up. Then we can see whether this new variety of trap is any good. 56 has never caught a possum before. I am just feeding the possums nice cinnamon paste and they do not bother putting head in! Or what I might suspect now they put head in and lick the lure even from inside but because trap not working properly they do not get killed.
The good thing is that this new island line took me 2 ½ hours to do today. And that is with looking for suitable places for the traps and trees. I reckon when all is installed it might take only two hours to do the round. And it is a lovely walk.
Even today I found a new flower variety. They are yellow native and called Maori Onions. They are really lovely little yellow spots in the green grass. Did not expect them down there. Just by accident walked passed them. So much to do. Slowly catch the monkey.