Jon and Sue came out here in fact for a birthday celebration. But we did manage to get out on their first day here and we were able to deploy three more traps. Automatic ones. A104, A105 and A106! They are in an area which we have not trapped that much before. Just above the river and below the walkway. Not easy to access.
It was such a wonderful, beautiful day. And when we worked on one trap attaching it to a kowhai tree there were at least 20 bellbirds right above us. Plus we heard several times a kereru flying past.
Then on the next day they went down onto Piccadilly Line and got a rat in D3 and one in D27. Both traps have been there for a while now and have not caught anything recently. So good to know that they are still necessary.
Encouraging was also an article that I read that in Wellington on the Miramar peninsula they have eradicated Norway rats, weasels and almost all ship rats. The Norway rats are very large but we do not seem to have any here. Thanks God. They did it all with trapping. No poisons used. They have thousands of traps all around the suburbs and coastline and have been going for about ten years I think.
So that really was good news for me because if they can do it then so can we. Mind you the terrain here is quite different from up in Wellington. Some areas of the gorge are just too steep to put traps in. So maybe some rats will always be there and from there re-infest the forest. Such a nuisance.
Our tally for August was 21 possums, 42 rats and 1 weasel. Not bad. In fact the best result since January. We had 24 trapping days in August. Thank you so much everybody for helping.
Down Piccadilly Line today. Just crossing over to the walkway a young man came along. So I asked him have you seen the closed sign and danger sign at other end of walkway. No he said. Maybe somebody moved it? Anyway I talked to him and he was interested in the traps. He was from Holland working in Singapore. So I took him along to hopefully show him a dead rat.
Alas there was no dead rat! But I opened a trap to show him the mechanics. Then we got to near coalmine and T6 had two possusms!!! Quite exciting for him because he had never seen a possum let along a dead one.
So today we got three more possies. The first one was down at the house where the people complained about a possum always coming to their doorstep and leaving a mess. So now we got it!
But today's highlight was the sighting of two kereru! First there was one sitting on bare branch and then suddenly a second one flew in from further down. Very exciting and beautiful.
Checked all the new traps and had a rat in one of them. That is good news because now I know they work. They are different from all the other traps. Wooden boxes too but smaller so I do not think I get stoats in them. Mainly rats. They are the ones I got for free from the prison guys in Christchurch.
Then I went down Waterloo Line and did only get a rat in D42 and a possum in T45. Which is great news. The rats will soon be in the thousands
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.