Main Image: A north island brown kiwi photographed by an infra-red trail camera at Bream Head Reserve
(More pictures from the trail cameras in the full report below.)
Wow, hasn’t the warm, humid La Nina weather system hit us all of a sudden?! I remember wearing a thermal top and hooded jumper as the temperature struggled to reach 15 degrees, just four weeks ago (as I write this) on the 3rd of November! With the fantastic wet winter we had, combined with this recent warmth the reserve flora has come away with great gusto again after those two drought years we experienced (including the pest plants too unfortunately).
You will have noticed that there was no October rangers’ report from the Trust. It has been decided that due to the size and pressure of the workload our team faces we will now report to our supporters once every two months. We hope to try and bring as much information to you so you continue to enjoy the reports. Therefore, the next report will not be due for release until mid-February 2022 (December 2021 & January 2022 report). Obviously Christmas and the New Year will occur in this period so I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the most wonderful, happy, calm, safe, fun festive season and hopefully families/friends will be able to get together after a super crazy year and just enjoy the simple things in life for a bit, including I hope some time out immersed and recharging in the mighty mauri of nature.
Some of our volunteers will be taking a very well earned rest over parts of summer after being so dedicated to the cause at Te Whara over the turbulent last 12 months and I extend a HUGE thank you to you all who continue to make this project so successful and so enjoyable to be a part of! To my dedicated contract ranger team, you guys absolutely rock and make my work/life balance so enjoyable – we really are achieving so much! On that note, in the last six months, even in trying times, the rangers and volunteers of Te Whara/Bream Head have changed over the existing 130 Snap-E traps to the newer/more powerful Snap-T rodent traps, installed and run a PAPP operation targeting stoats, added and serviced approximately 90 new predator control devices along the Ocean Beach road protection line (known as ‘Load the Road’), hand delivered 1080 to targeted bait stations protecting sensitive endemic species, installed the 66 Predator Free Whangarei ‘mop up’ camera and leg hold devices, developed a PFW camera servicing system and begun classifying 1000’s of images from the 33 cameras – all whilst managing the many normal routine tasks that come with an intensive, full ecological restoration project.
The outcomes associated with all this new and ongoing mahi are apparent for those who visit the reserve with lovely bird song, well maintained tracks and hut, stunning flowers on many of the trees and shrubs and happy visitors enjoying the whole area. Probably our greatest story this year has been the grey faced petrel breeding season success to date with nine out of the 10 chicks alive at the last check in late November, and seven of those able to be banded by Cathy Mitchell. As I write this report (6 December) the first of those chicks may just about be ready to fledge, hopefully our 24/7 camera footage will reveal all seven do indeed make it on their way safely – to return again in around four years’ time to breed here themselves. I sure hope we are close to, or already at, zero invasive predators by then, wouldn’t that be a dream come true?! Again I must be careful and err on the side of caution, there is a long way to go in the GFP breeding season and as we know it only takes one stoat to ruin everything.
To any media reading this or the more detailed GFP information in the full report, please do not publish anything about the GFPs yet. We are going to put out a press release at the end of the breeding season when we know how many GFPs fledge successfully.
It’s all in the full report
We encourage all our supporters to please take a look at this month’s information packed Rangers’ Report to find out more about the GFPs, our trapping and monitoring programs including photos from our new infra-red trail cameras, updates from our fabulous rangers Keith Townsend and Hadden Morrison plus so much more that has been happening these last two months out on Bream Head Reserve.
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 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.