Hello friends and family.
Mother nature is surely full of variety and so when we did the nest checks on Wednesday, we found 33 nests with eggs and have now identified every breeding female from last season, even though one is not yet nesting. This event where most of the breeding is underway before the equinox is exceptional. I put it down to experienced penguins and good fishing!
The weather has been dull and so it is hard to get motivated to prepare the garden for spring, but that is the top job at hand. I have removed the plastic tubes from a lot of the trees at Hampden and sprayed with copper where required. Only 4 more apple trees there need attention but that requires drying conditions.
DOC have started work on the new path. They are doing a very good job and it will be a great improvement over the current set up, the penguins will have people only to the south of them, not surrounding them.
On Thursday night Owen and Chrissy from Hampden came and we transferred the bee hive here to their place. I will put another hive here from the farm when it gets a little warmer. Owen is very keen to protect bees so we will look after that hive together for a few years.
On Saturday Hiltrun and I did the nest search rounds and found 21 nests here and 21 at Okahau Point. We are not expecting any more at Okahau point as all of our females there are accounted for. With only 10 days between the first egg laid and the last, this is an exceptional season.
I will be checking for the last nests here at Katiki over the next few days, but the penguins have already exceeded our expectations!
Have a great week!
Hello friends and family
I am home again after 4 weeks away visiting family and we have our first Yellow-eyed penguin eggs of the new season. I arrived back on Tuesday evening and Chris and Hiltrun came up, with dinner, so we could do the nest rounds on Wednesday. We found one egg here and 3 single eggs at Okahau point which indicates a first lay date of 14th September, which makes this an early season – good news – early means a good food supply!
Like all breaks away, I have come back with renewed energy and focus. I am going to be here, saving penguins for as long as it takes to ensure Yellow-eyed penguins do not go extinct on the South Island. Inspired by some awesome relations, I am going to put away my ageist thinking and just get on with the work at hand.
I drove the camper as far north as Whangarei, across the North Island from the Mount to New Plymouth and all the way home again. It did not miss a beat, in spite of being loaded up with bird stuff – thank you Mandy – and trees that we could not source in the South Island. I managed to catch up with most of the rellies and some dear friends as well.
On Saturday, Hiltrun and I did the second nest check and found 6 nests here with eggs and 7 at Okahau Point. The wonderful part of all this is that we have seen all of the Okahau point females so we are hoping for 100% survival. Yes, 2 of them were in hospital over the summer (10%) but if we achieve this, it will be awesome – one of the breeding females is 24 years old!
Chris and I potted up 2 Kahikatea that I brought back from Taumuranui, and I potted up about 80 Tree Lucerne for my Hampden section.
It is foggy out there today so I will catch up on some inside jobs.
Have a great week!