Not one but two. Now that's unusual to see two stoats on the same day close by. We have been in Lockdown for many weeks now and the borders have been closed but we have had the freedom to explore Auckland and I never miss an opportunity to re-visit favourite reserves. One of these is on the Mahurangi peninsular. Its a great escape from the city I visit weekly. and sometimes when possible stay overnight in one of the three beautiful campgrounds.
A couple of weeks ago I had headed for one of my favorite walks up the hill to the lookout and then down to Te Muri bay . I crossed the river as the tide was good to explore behind the top of the beach. keeping a lookout for any NZ dotterel nesting activity. At once I disturbed a stoat. It bounded away with an undulating movement. At first thinking it was a rabbit the black tail was the real giveaway.
Heading along the back path above the beach about 10 minutes later I was aware of movement in front of me and yes there was stoat 2. It just stopped in its tracks s I did and we just stared at each other for a few minutes I usually carry a camera but on this occasion I had left it in my bag as I crossed the river so I missed the opportunity to get a photo. Yesterday I returned this time camera in hand but all was quiet. I had passed on my sightings to the Ranger the previous week who had explained that due to Covid 19 restrictions his volunteers had not been able to enter the park s so the string of stoat traps had not been baited for a while. Yesterday they were full of rabbit meat so maybe the stoats were wary at having a too easy a tasty meal served up for them.