Monday, July 24, 2017

Chew Results.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from our 15 chew cards set up on the shell banks on metal rods but some have been well chewed and some just slightly nibbled and some not touched at all.
 Amy and I also checked out along the  extremely slippery steep slope of the estuary cliff  bush fringe the two lines  above Shoal bay shell banks  and found plenty of chew activity on these tasty lure impregnated cards that we had fixed to trees. Some cards were eaten in half.

Tomorrow we will check out Upper Shoal Bay and Ngataringa park.

Tuesday 25th.

Lotte joined me on a sunny morning to check out and collect up the Upper Shoal chew cards and again quite a lot of rodent activity. In the afternoon I returned to Ngataringa park and collected up the three chew lines of cards.  It was fortunate that I had GPS'd these which made them relatively easy to locate.

Just waiting to hear now how Graham got on with Steve and Cam in Ngataringa bay. Then all  the cards will be ready for collection and analysis by Craig and the Auckland Council  RIMU research unit. It will be interesting to hear what they make of the results.

Photos to follow..............................

Friday, July 21, 2017

Chew This over

Today (Friday) we began our chew card project on five sites that I had designated and offered to the Auckland RIMU ( Research unit)  covering different habitats but aligned to our predator control project.

Amy joined me on this stormy  morning with lightning flashing across the estuary to GPS and fix metal stakes on the Shell Chenier bank at Shoal Bay and this may tell us that rats swim out to these islands that are nesting sites for dotterel, pied stilt and variable oystercatcher and roosting sites for several At risk species of wading bird including wrybill and godwit..

Storm clouds, lightning and a rainbow as we installed the chew cards on metal rods

The chew cards are impregnated with a bait lure to attract rodents and its going to be interesting to re-visit after there nights to see what has nibbled the cards.

Amy was recently in the Norfolk Islands completing her Masters degree so was the ideal person to help me particularly in the afternoon when we tackled the  steep and slippery bush clad cliff edge to fix cards to trees..

Then Yesterday (Saturday) in torrential rain I met up with Emma, Nerida, Stephen and Lotte to lay two chew cards lines in Upper Shoal Bay along the Patuone walkway.

Then in the afternoon Dan helped me set up the three chew card lines in Ngataringa Park.

I was very grateful of all the support for this project particularly on such an atrocious weather weekend.
Next week after three nights we will retrieve the cards for analysis by the  RIMU team and then we will have some base line data.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Out of Africa

A regular pair of Barbary doves live in the area and frequent the bush edge of Shoal Bay as well as local gardens. A native to North Africa but released in New Zealand and now quite widespread in the North Island.

 They regularly drink at my garden pond and find seeds on the driveway and today while one was preening its feathers the other pecked away at the bark of the eucalyptus tree.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hunkered down

Its very cold this morning with a brisk cold southerly. However this wasn't going to deter me from checking if the wrybills were still around at Shoal bay.

I was tempted to just have a quick scan with the binos  but a scope search revealed a group of 42 wrybill at the far end of the Chenier shell bank hunkered down against that strong southerly.

Click on image and count the wrybill - I make it 42

Romeo and Juliet our two resident variable oystercatcher were also present and just one NZ dotterel quite nearby.
I then moved on to check the Bayswater side of Shoal and then to Ngataringa Bay shell bank to further record SIPOS, VOCS, Caspian Terns and Pied stilts.
Photos to follow.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Five Eyes ?

Well actually five signs! To protect the high tide roost and nesting site of shore birds. It was good to meet up with Alex from DOC to add to and replace a rather tired sign at this vulnerable but important site.

Hopefully dog owners will act responsibly and follow the 2015 ruling that Dogs are not permitted on these shell banks.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Nothing Ventured......

Nothing gained! I was wondering what I had let myself in for when I recently volunteered to speak to a Forest and Bird submission at a Resource Management Act (RMA) hearing to try and save a notable tree from demolition ........
More to follow.