Today last day of year. Thought I better get out and get another possum! Two guests wanted to come. Frans and Mayke from Holland. They are a bit younger than last ones. So why not. Did the same tour as with last ones. They were very interested and just loved the views and the forest, plants and the birds.
Wanted to show them a fantail. But no. They did not show up. But we heard bellbirds. That was all good. They really wanted to see a dead possum but on Piccadilly Line just no possums to be had. So my hope were for the traps further up on Circle Line. T32, T33 and T34 were empty. I thought there goes my last chance.
But then got further up and I saw from distance that trap was overturned. I told them stay back if you do not want to see dead possum. But no. So we all got to the T17 and quite a big possum in it. All dead. I clear it all out and they take pictures! From there to Northern Line and nothing.
So one more possum, 686, fourteen to go. Might just happen when you are here! The number 700!!
I have asked Dr Who and Lady Sue to pencil in the 20th January for the official opening of Elizabeth Line. What are your plans. How long do you stay here before taking off to wherever. Can you let us know please. So we can plan a bit.
Small report today. Did go out on reasonably good day to Waterloo Line. Have not been there for 10 days I think. All is well in the rat traps. Not one had triggered! Also the possie traps were empty all except trap T44! One old possum all eaten up and bones left. Not so bad. Reset everything and fresh apples in all traps.
Wednesday Charlotte and Jack are coming out and they want to see some action. So not going until then to give the possies a chance to get trapped! I must impress them with our catch rate! And the birds!
Reports keep coming in! and we have people staying. Took our guests out today. First time I have done it. They from Holland so I was a bit apprehensive to take two townies down there. I thought better not take them where we went yesterday.
But anyway got to start of track and soon realised that she was not the best walker. Very slow downhill. But then we got to stile and over and down on walkway proper and whenever it was a bit steep she froze and I had to guide her over and down. Made it all a bit slower. But once she saw that I was always there waiting for her when I thought it was a bit tricky she got more confident.
Towards coalmine we heard lots of birds again. Not quite like yesterday and we did not see the fantails. I heard them in the bush but they did not come out. On the way I showed them the traps and how they work. Very interesting for them. No catches.
Then we got to Northern Line and nothing again until trap T16. I saw it overturned and soon saw that we had a possum. Same trap as yesterday! So it was easy to remove and throw in the bush. They took pictures.
So now we finally reached 680! Took a long time these last ten. Twenty to go for 700. And then we can envisage a 1000!
Despite having people in I took Rob out for a look at the lines. He is the one who stayed with me when I had my accident in Fiordland back in March and he stayed behind with me to wait for the helicopter. I invited him to stay here for a night to thank him. Of course I have to show off our traps.
We start with Piccadilly Line and nothing in all the traps. Disappointing. But on the way just before the coalmine there is a bunch of Bellbirds in a tree and singing loudly above us. Very impressive that was. Eat that buddy!! Then on we went onto Circle Line up to top and over stile and down the trapline along the edge of bush.
Nothing until we got to T22. From afar I see it overturned and something must be in it. Getting closer we can smell the thing and then there is a possum very mangled and done. I get it out of trap and want to throw it over the fence holding it by the tail. But it is so rotten that the tail comes off! What a mess that is. So I have to pick it up on the fur and gently throw it over. I did not want it to splash all over me. Maggots and all.
Then on we go and nothing until T31. I look at the trap and oddly something is in it. I thought a small possum but then looking closer it is a rat! Another vegan rat. They go for the apple. Not often we get that. Anyway I dispose of it.
Then on we travel up to lookout point and onto Northern Line. Nothing in the trees and I expect nothing more really. But then we get to T16 and a nice large possum quite fresh so not messy is in it. Get it out and throw it over fence. No problem with this one. So my friend is quite impressed. Two possies and one rat!
On the way I also show him more Maori Onions and the NZ Jasmine flowers. He is very pleased.
So now we have reached 679 possums! Do not think we will make 700 by end of year. Maybe by the time you come. Tomorrow I promised to take our other guests, from Holland, out on the same walk. They want to see trapping. Should really charge them for it. Maybe I can tell them to buy one of the fantails. Hopefully we see one or two down there. So will be a memory for them.
Not much today. Was a great day and very hot in the end. Got one possum only! In trap T17 the reliable trap is back on again. Number 16 now in six months. That is good. A good spot. This one was a youngster. Not sure lately it has been a lot of juveniles. Maybe they are moving in from other regions? Like next to T17 is a large piece of forest and I have not been trapping in there at all. Much be teeming with possums. One day I get in there.
Did have an outing today too. Six now in a row! Nothing. Got nothing. But I found the Maori Onions again! Remember last year I saw them first time and then farmer let his sheep in and all flowers gone! I thought the worst. But today I found a bunch of them again. Not telling anybody where. They are mines. Made my day.
Good report today. I would call it a massacre. Christine gone into town so I go quite early 9.30 or so. Down Northern Line first which had nothing. Then onto Circle Line and first trap T17 had a possum. Long time coming. It killed so many possums over the last few months and then nothing for quite a long time. Back in business again.
Then onto next trap T34 and I could not see the trap because all the grass has grown so high. But when I get to it another possum! Nice large one. My day is already made. Then next two traps have nothing and then I go over stile and down into gorge and first new D trap, D89, had a rat! From there all the way to the river and passed D60 and it had the stoat you see in picture. Pretty ripe.
Then along further D65 had two mice, next one D66 had one mouse and a bit furhter D69 had another rat. And then further still I checked T48 which has not done much over the time there and it had a possum! How about that.
And all along the automatic traps connected to the phone with the kill records. In the end it was 27 kills! Whatever they killed it must be good. Probably a cat ate them all. So that cat will not go for birds so much.
I also went up our new Elisabeth Line to check the possum trap we installed up there and I wondered how long it would take to get there from the walkway and it was only 10 minutes. No possum there. Very disappointing because that is where we saw two possums at least on the camera. That line is still not finished! I am waiting for the replacement trap tops which did not work last time. Once they are here I will go in and really finish it. Then I might have an opening. I am going to put blue ribbon across and take some people, maybe Charlotte and Jack in there and she can cut the ribbon! But maybe I should wait until Dr Who and Lady Sue are back. Would not be fair to open the line without them. They have helped and got wounded even. Maybe we could have them here when you are here and we all go down and have bottle of champagne! We make it as a surprise. We go first and Christine can delay them for a while and we put the ribbon up and then when they come Lady Sue can cut the ribbon. So much fun!
Did you get last link with cat movie and did it work?
Plus I identified a new line down by the river and it will be an extension of the Embankment. All automatic traps are going in there. It is mainly flat land and quite easy to get to. Maybe Taximus Maximus will cut a path with the chainsaw? And we install the traps!
Did have another outing and this time down to Waterloo Line. Have not been there for yonks. Nothing in the first traps and not until the last one did I get a possum. Completley rotten. Only skin and bone left. What a mess. Put fresh apple in. That was trap T45.
Then I return and while passing A6, an automatic trap, it pings on my phone and it had one kill. So that is good. Then I make my way up through Central Station and the grass is nearly as high as myself and soaked in water from the rains. I get wet. Soaked. Never mind. Trappers can take it. And then I get to last trap T10 and there is another rotten possum. It just pays to go more often. But without Charlie Brown there is only me. Do not where he is. Not good enough.
I will try to get those videos working for you. Also the trap app seems to be working again. What a relief.
Been at it again. Dr Who and Lady Sue were here. Very early in fact. 9 o'clock in the morning they were eager. So we packed more traps in fact 12 more. I was optimistic to be able to deploy them all. Little did I know. Chainsaw again, secateurs, drill, etc. the lot. And off we went.
It was a pleasant morning with no wind and some sun. Quite warm. So I decided to leave my jumper behind and also my rain jacket. Last time I do so. In future this is necessary equipment.
So we make it to trap A70 in good time. That is where the camera is installed. We take it off to check. We see plenty of possums and plenty of rats and tell you what: a cat! A cat turns up! There we go. The trap tells us it had one kill but nothing there and then of course the cat is there and it must have removed the rat. Evidence at last.
What I also had with me in rucksack is a possum trap. An automatic one that I kept back just in case. So we install that trap on the tree next to the rat trap and hope now to kill these possums. Never expected them there. Now all done we continue and soon reach end of trail where we had trap A76 instelled. All new traps recorded kills. Under one of them we saw two mice. Further evidence that they work.
From there we measure our steps. We have a rope and attach it and then walk and when rope finished that is where we put a new trap. So we find nice spot and good tree and we attach trap to tree and I try to pair it with my new phone and it does not work! I am furious. There I bought new phone exactly for this and it does not work! Nothing I can do. Down there is no wifi.
So on we go and install four more traps like this without being able to pair them. So I have no location of the traps on my phone and have to go back to do it again! Furious.
Then I move a bit further up and start to install yet one more trap. By this time it has become rather cold and big heavy clouds cover the sky and I am getting a bit concerned. But I continue and then I hear this scream and a fall and Sue cries out Jon are you ok? And I shout as well. And nothing from him but Sue says no he is not! I think he has broken something! Maybe leg? Maybe arm.
I stop installing and rush back to where Jon lies in the riverbed (send you picture later) and bleeding from his head! He nearly cracked his skull open. Luckily nothing broken and he comes slowly to. I think he was knocked out for a while. Sue looks after him.
Now I make decision that we had to get out of there as quick as possible. The problem was we were far up and quite close to the top. The way down would take almost two hours. Up not so much but I did not know what lay between. I knew there to be bush again and the creek ending in a big drop which was impossible to climb. I have been there three times before!
I knew I had a track above the waterfall but now we had to get up to there. So I find a spot where we can climb up and I have done it before but now with Jon I have to cut a path through it. I have the chainsaw. But when Jon had his fall he must have damaged the chainsaw a bit because it is very hard to cut with it.
Anyway I make it to the top of cliff and it is not too difficult to get up there. But now in front of me is thickest bush. I have to cut path and slash everything in a hurry. Very hard going. But then it becomes a bit easier and grassy and I just bash ahead and then I see the gate and beginning of gully.
Now I have to go back to find my two helpers again. Which I do after a while. What a relief. Finally we make it out of the jungle and onto the farm track and Northern Line. From there it is 15 minutes to car.
He got a large bump on his head now. And a plaster. Poor man. But still cheerful. The bleeming thing is that these traps and this line is still not finished!
Have not been out for a while because of peeps. Now they gone. Had to go and check the yellow boxes because if not out for so long the possies can be pretty rancid. And so it proved. Started with Central Station but nothing there. Then over stile and onto Piccadilly Line and first trap T36 had yet another possum. That is now several in series. Just remember we have been trapping there for more than a year and still they come.
Then on along track and not far D9 had a rat. Then nothing. Went down to coalmine and looked out for some fuchsia tree that Charlotte had pointed out to me a while ago and I could not find it again. So took a close look and there it was. I pulled down a branch and it was full of red flowers. Beautiful and even some berries. I tasted one and they are quite sweet. Of course I cannot see the red in the bush so it is hard to spot them just like that.
From there went up to Circle Line and did all the boxes and nothing until way at the top again in T33 was a possum. Must have been there a while. Maggots all over. So removed it and put fresh apple into it. Then on to Northern Line and checked all traps put fresh apple in it and nothing until very last one. There was a young possum in it. Luckily pretty fresh so not a problem to remove and throw into the bush.
Then on further four more traps and first one nothing and then T16 had another possum. Again very badly opened up and smelling. Removed it too and thew into bush. Re baited. And that was it. So four more possums and 1 rat. Plus automatic trap A8 showed 6 kills. Very good day.