Season’s greetings to you all!
Hello friends and family
The week began with sunshine – a rare treat so far this month. I took the opportunity on Sunday to replenish the Mosquito dunks in the standing water within 500 m of the penguin reserves. The water level was quite low in most ponds. I got a call on Sunday night about a bee swarm and so I collected it quite efficiency.
On Monday I checked the bees and gave them an extra box on top to put honey in. I got a call from the police while I was doing the last hives – a man had founded his boat in the middle of the seal breeding area at Okahau Point. I took a police man to the spot and we did manage to escape from the raging bull seals, but it was very dangerous.
I did the rounds on Tuesday with Jan and Robbie. All the chicks in the colonies were looking fine. We weighed a couple of them and they had put on weight. The gull chicks are growing up fast and some now look like gulls not fluff-balls!
With the rehab full so early in the season, we have begun mosquito proofing the aviary. This time, instead of putting the screening outside the structure, we have put it inside, so we can leave the shading vegetation in place. All that needs to be done now is to line the ceiling and we have a plan. When summer does arrive, any penguins in there will not over heat. In the afternoon both Jan and Robbie helped with feeding the rehab chicks. We want them to be more resilient. We all dress in blue overalls and wear blue gloves to reduce stress.
To round off the day, Jan and I went to the mayoral Christmas function at the Oamaru Opera house. We enjoyed it and managed to get home before the worst of the rain arrived.
We got 30 mm of rain in the next 24 hours – an average months’ worth here so the ground was all soggy again. I went shopping on Thursday and left Jan and Robbie to complete the monitoring at the Moeraki colony, but we did have to bring in another chick – only 60% of expected weight for age and loosing it even though there was a parent at home.
Chris and Hiltrun came up on Friday evening and we did the rounds on Saturday. There were adults having a day off and healthy-looking chicks. Helen and Stewart called out in the afternoon and it was lovely to catch up with them.
Have a great week!