Well tell you what. Charlie Brown has really been at it today. He got three possums, six rats, two mice and one hedgehog! Amazing. Plus he re baited a lot of the rat traps plus the possum traps. I am so pleased.
We have a rat in D25, D34, D63, D77, D84, T31. Great. D25 and D34 are on old lines, the others are on the new ones. Circle Line which we deployed three weeks ago. The T31 is a big surprise. That is a possum trap and only has apple in it. But now I know what is stealing the apple. It is rats! As Charlie Brown calls it a vegan rat! Would never have guessed. I send picture separate.
Then T20 and T23 are on Circle Line. Have not had possums there for a while. T14 is on Northern Line. Also had not many possums recently. Three possums in one go. How good is that. Wish I had been out there for such a big tally.
T16 with a hedgehog is a nuisance. But at least it is gone. Then T65 is just a side catch. Mice are not really on the list. It is often we get two mice in one trap. What I think happens one goes in and it is too light to trigger traps and then second goes in and together they are heavy enough to trigger it and bang dead!
Now tomorrow I was going to deploy more traps with Dr Who. But it has been raining today and snow is forecast for tonight! So I cancelled it. No good us mucking around in wet bush. Too horrible and cold too. Have to find another day now.
Weasel today. Was a great day. Had people in last night. Six of them. So rather tired and had to do breakfast as well. And guess what all three couples bought one of the little fantails. 135 dollars going into the account. Have already sold seven of them!
Was a good day. Got a possum in T37, then the weasel in DoC150/1 and a hedgehog in T15. For some reason all the possums I got recently at least the last ten were all youngsters. Do they come in from somewhere else? What is happening? Nothing in my research says that at this time of year I would be getting young possies. Are they being driven out from somewhere else?
All in all a very satisfactory outing.
Bet you have been waiting patiently for report. Well here it is. Had peeps and had to go shopping and have peeps tonight too but still I did go out. Went down to Central Station first. And you remember I told you I saw some evidence of possum near trap T4 which is at bottom of track. Well we got a possum there! Maybe it is the one we were after. Anyway it is a possum.
Then I went down to T3 which is always a bit of a struggle. A little bank to climb down and just when I think nothing there and I push a bit of bush away there is another possum! Already half eaten but still a possum. Amazing that trap. So many possums. And more come and more come.
Then got onto walkway and first trap that looked triggered had nothing in it. Maybe somebody triggered it. Then the next one D15 had a rat. Nice one. Then Aaron turned up. He was just curious as to what I was doing so he came along for a while but we had nothing to show him.
Then I went up to Circle Line and along fence and at first nothing then got to T24 and it had nice possum. Great. Then I have to climb up very steep and trap T31 is a bit hidden in the bush. Well marked now with blue tape to get there. And guess what: another possie. What a day. Then I have to climb further up to flat area past lookout point and get to trap T34. Hey another possum! So we have five possums today. Almost a massacre.
Then I got to T17 and it had a hedgehog. Good harvest today. Amazing really. Now we are up to 655 possums and 502 rats! Maybe by the time you come we will be at 700 possies. Tomorrow Charlie Brown booked again for a trapping round.
Did Waterloo Line today. Quite early and the birds were all there! Only go a rat in D41. It was a strange looking rat. Its ears were all looking like a cancer or something and also around the mouth was the same growth. Maybe it was miserable. Then in DoC250/3 I got yet another hedgehog. They are coming out in force again!
Did go out again on Friday! Nice day and because of peeps I did a short one. Waterloo Line. At first all good but then D40 had a rat! Next one D41 had another rat! How good is that. On the way home I thought I better check T3 which is over the fence and down to large tree. When I look down I think there is nothing in it and almost went back up but then I thought better put fresh apple in it.
And then when I get to it there is a possum in it! A young one and must have gone in the night before. Was all shiny and nice fur. I get rid of it and put fresh apple into trap.
That is now number 35 for that trap. Every now and then there is another one. Never ending. Between this trap and the one further up T2, check it on map, we have had around 100 possums! How is it possible. The forest must have been swarming with the critters. No wonder there are no birds. Just imagine if I had not been trapping. There would now be 200 possums in that part of forest!
So a good day!
Yet another report. This one Saturday. A friend of ours wanted to have a look at the traps and he also gave us 150 dollars just same day! Very nice. Naturally they wanted to see where their money goes. No problem. I take them on a grand tour. Ross and Anne from Australia. So no good for trapper status. Too far away.
That is we went down to Central Station and then along Piccadilly Line. First trap we encounter is all dislodged and on side of walkway. Possum? Maybe. Maybe somebody. Never know. Put it all back again. Then off along track and got to D12. Nice juicy rat! So they can see first hand what happens to rats down there. They be dead.
From there down to coalmine but nothing. Then up along Circle Line and not much for quite a while. But then we get to the new traps from two weeks ago and D80 has another rat. Now they are a bit more impressed. Then further along in D84 is another rat! Both traps had never anything before so that is good for that area.
Then we return via Northern Line to car and I look over and very unexpectedly I see a trap overturned and see it has been triggered. Getting closer I see that it is a huge possum! In trap T16! Very impressive for them. Good day with three rats and one possum. And having been able to show off!
Ha but then wait. The good news is that we saw four pigeons! Four Kereru! Two were definitely a pair! And then two more. Then loads of bellbirds and loads of grey warblers. Such a good sound through the forest. But the Kereru were so exciting. They must be nesting somewhere in the trees. We only saw them because we scared them off. Too much talking. So when I go by myself and keep quiet I do not disturb them and therefore do not see them. Maybe I should have some loud music playing to scare everything out of their wits. But no.
So that was a good day. Three rats, one possum, four kereru! Tuis are coming soon!
On Thursday I did Circle Line along with Northern Line. All quiet on the possum front. There must be more. Then down to the trap numbered 20 to 30 and then T22 had a hedgehog! Next one T25 had another hedgehog! And then T27 yet another hedgehog. Horrible. They not nice to move out of trap. Very smelly.
But good I checked because while hedgehog is in trap all dead no possum can go in! So a good day.
Set out with Dr Who and Jeremy, his brother who is over here from Sydney. 11.15. Very windy but no problem. Cold too. Go along Northern Line and no possums. They have all gone now. But the idea today was to check the new traps from last week. But on the way there at trap T34 we got a hedgehog.
Then over stile and down walkway and first trap had nothing. Also next four had nothing. Then D85 had a rat, then D84 had another rat! Then nothing until we got to sign for the river access. There is a trap number D62. It was triggered and it was a mouse! Then D64 was triggered too and had another mouse! Then D65 same thing. Yet another mouse. But then next one D66 had another rat.
So three rats, three mice and one hedgehog today. Quite pleasing really as we now want the rats to be gone.
The highlight was the little bellbird. We walked along and I can hear this little voice of a bird in a tree. Just could not see it looking up into the canopy. I suspected it to be a bellbird. And then just as I wanted to leave I saw this young fluffy baby bellbird right in front of my eyes. How beautiful is that. Tried to take photograph but my camera not very good in dark forest. You can see it in attached photo.
So breeding is on the way and babies are around! There were also loads of calls of bellbirds and loads of calls from Grey Warblers. Have not heard so many last year or ever really. Something must be happening.
Today lovely day. A bit windy. Sunny and warm. Decided to do Waterloo Line. Have not done it for a while. Not since I put fresh peanut butter into all of them. So nothing on Central Station. Turn left onto line and have to go until D41. Has been triggered but nothing in it. Marcel said the same of the other traps that many were triggered. School kids!
Then onto D43 and also triggered but this one has nice rat in it. Then onto D45. Triggered again and another rat! Very good. Then walk all the way to end and T44 has a hedgehog. Nasty thing. So that is good. Did not expect any more.
Then I do three traps on Central Station and see a family right down there having a picknick. I surprise them and say just looking at trap. They did not even see it and were almost sitting on it! Nothing in though. Next one nothing either. Apple still there. Then I get to T3 down the side and we have a possum! Number 34 for that trap! Amazing how they just turn up again and again.
Then decide to do Lakeside as well. First trap T150/1 is triggered and it has a little weasel! Then on to the others and the last one DOC250/3 has another hedgehog.
Very pleased with this haul.
Double report today. Yesterday and today. Our friends came out yesterday: Niall, Jan, Sue and Jon. Keen trappers all of them. The idea was to get the new traps down to the walkway. Craig actually drove them down on Saturday as far as he could but from there it is still quite a walk to the lookout point.
So we set out about 1.30 and were also able to drive down to the pile of traps. Then we loaded them on to our packs. I had three, Jan had three, Niall had two, Sue had two and Jon, who was a bit behind came in the end with five! Crazy. I told him not to take this many. Three at the most! But no he had to take five! So that meant with one go we had already 15 traps down there. So only one more trip. By 2.30 we had them at the lookout point!
They want to do more work so we start taking them down onto the walkway. Each trap we measured how far we went so all are in same distance. I hoped we would make it down to the other traps so that the trap line would all be joined up. But when we deployed our last trap we were three short! But it was enough for a day and we headed back where I cooked dinner. And we had good wine too and a whiksy after by the fire. Great day.
Plus on the way down we also got a possum!
Then today we headed out a bit earlier in fact 10.30. I decided that we take the first three traps at the top down to the bottom and join it all with the ones already there and then work our way up and maybe space all the other traps a bit more so the whole of the walkway would be covered with traps.
It was great team work. I showed them the first trap and what to do and then Jon and Jan were in charge of baiting the traps with egg and peanut butter and set the mechanism plus label the trap. Then Sue and I went ahead to next trap and I put trap on phone with GPS and numbered it. Niall was in charge of distance. So from each trap he would measure 60 steps, then make a mark and go further up and fetch a trap and bring it down. Then he also made little platforms for the traps to sit on. Then Sue and I would come along do again GPS and I would nail a blue marker thingy on to the trap for Jon then to put the number on to it.
So it took a while and the line stretched more and more and in the end Niall caught up with the traps from yesterday only now he had to take them further up again because his 60 steps were a bit longer as our measurements yesterday. In this way we made steady progress and almost reached the top of walkway!
But then I counted the traps and we were at number 88 but the last trap should have been 89! Niall must have missed a trap somewhere. He decides to go down in search of it. Then Jan follows him a bit later and she finds the trap not far away! Niall had walked right passed it again. Anyway Jan brings the trap up and I put it basically at the top of the walkway. You see it in the photo. Then Niall turns up again and he had gone all the way to the bottom. He deserves a beer tonight.
So magically we have covered the whole walkway up to the lookout point now with traps! What good work that all was. Now they have gone home and we have quiet evening. You can see the traps on website numbered 70 to 89!