Annual survey of bird re-introductions
Two endemic bird species were previously reintroduced - popokatea / whiteheads in 2017, and toutouwai / North Island robins in 2016. Thirteen popokatea and fifteen toutouwai were detected in this most recent survey. Most of these detections were birds seen and photographed, with a few being heard only. Experienced surveyors covered all the bait and trap lines in the reserve. Bird calls were played and both live call backs and sightings were recorded. As it was breeding season some birds may have been incubating eggs on nests and brooding chicks.
Popokatea and toutouwai photos by Heather O'Brien and Deane Williams.
Ōi / grey-face petrel breeding season
In late September Pete Mitchell took Tom Grinstead, Grant Stevens and Cathy Mitchell to the Old Woman to check on the GFP / ōi. Back in August we mentioned there were nine adults incubating eggs. In the most recent visit, five live chicks were found across the three sites along with one cold egg. So there are still a handful of chicks hanging in there!
Stoats again have been the main issue with this breeding season. The picture below shows a stoat rolling a petrel egg out of the burrow shown on remote camera. We found egg fragments under the burrow on the site visit.
Our nursery now has a seed raising shed
Using funds from Te Uru Rākau and the volunteer carpentry of long time volunteer Marc Lawrence a seed raising shed has been constructed at the nursery site. Thanks to Marc for his time and skill. The shed includes automated misters for irrigating our younger seedlings. The environment is also ideal for germinating seeds. From an irrigation perspective we are in a good position leading into the summer as the nursery site now features 50,000L of water feeding two independent timer based watering systems, one for the main shade house and one for the new seed raising shed.
Read the full Rangers Report for October 2023 for more details on these stories, maps of bird locations from our survey, more great photos, tables of trapping results plus other exciting news from the reserve.
Aki Tai Here is helping us deal to the moth plant
It is with great pride and happiness that I can announce our 2021/22 grey faced petrel (gfp) protection and monitoring a complete and wonderful success!
We’ve been installing cameras alongside our automated lure dispensers. We’ve seen good things (robins and kiwis) as well as bad (possums and stoats).
We have had such a busy, productive month this September, there has hardly been time to take a breath!
Our local seabird champion Cathy Mitchell spent a full day clambering around the steep terrain at the eastern tip of the reserve checking each of the burrows
Remote reporting of set and sprung traps on the north bounday of our reserve.
Our volunteers are hearing the latest methods and technology to remove predators from large landscape areas and then protect those gains.