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.
Another hard day trapping. Went out a bit earlier today were down on walkway by 10.15. Getting to the coal face was easy and on the way we picked up a possum too. T36. Same trap as yesterday!
Then at trap A70 we had set up the night motion camera and we checked it. There in plain sight was a possum and a rat! Nothing seems to have gone into the trap though. Will take a while I think. Rat do not like new things.
Then things became a bit rougher and Jon was bashing through the bush with the chainsaw. He went up far to far at one spot and we had to get down again and follow closer to the stream. It is very lovely in this spot and not too much water. Much easier to follow the river I thought anyway and it is normally but then there was some tree branches right across and Jon had the chainsaw stuck in it. Could not get it out. So it took quite a while to loosen everything.
Finally we managed and then the river bed was all open and we just walked on the boulders and I was looking for some tree to put a trap on. So we only have to cut into the bush a little distance and then get back to river and follow further up. So we did and managed to deploy three more traps. It was one o'clock now and I said I think we have to go back now.
Jon just looked a bit tired, Sue had enough and I was a bit tired too but it was more the safety of them too that made me turn back. Plus rain was looming and was forecast too.
So they agree and we walk all the way back and it started to pour down towards the end of the walkway. Got a bit wet. They want to come back next week and we do another ten traps! This time we might come into the gully from the top where a while ago I already had cut a track until I got stuck myself by a cliff. We have to find a way around it and then we get into the flat riverbed and make our way down. Much easier.
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.