Hello friends and family
The bitterly cold winds continued until Tuesday morning. Here we got no rain, which means the trees took another hammering and even more leaves will drop off. The ground is rock hard. Chris and Hiltrun came up on Sunday lunchtime and we spent the afternoon down the hill as it was too windy to go to Okahau Point (the proper name for the Barracouta Bay reserve that I will try to remember to use from now on!). We came home when the penguins returned from fishing.
Tom joined us for more tree work on Monday morning and then in the afternoon we hosted the Yellow-eyed penguin Stocktake team. This is a group of 4 people charged with identifying current issues for YEPs and gathering stake-holder opinions. It had the potential to be very difficult, but Bruce the Chair set a professional tone and we were able to express our opinions about the current problems. I felt listened too which is rare with penguin people not part of Penguin Rescue. We were well prepared and clear about our priorities. We visited Okahau Point and the reserve here as part of the visit. A highlight for us was seeing a juvenile penguin that had returned home.
On Tuesday morning we were all very tired and so Chris and Hiltrun went home early at lunchtime after we had put tree circles around some Five Finger that the rabbits had decided to ring-bark.
Robbie has started building my shed – very exciting! I went to Hampden on Thursday to tend to the hazelnut trees that are prone to fungal infections. During my trapping round I was pleased to see that the Spotted Shags have begun nest building – a good sign for the new season. It was very distressing however, to see so many starving seal pups. There are huge fat males along the coast and starving pups – not easy to walk past, but that is all I can do.
Yesterday we took time out from the bottomless list of jobs to do and took Janice Jones out to lunch at Riverstone kitchen. We wanted to pause together and celebrate the life of Diesel Dick, the founding father of the Katiki point penguin colony who we had not seen for nearly a year. He was 26 years old when he disappeared so he had a lot of stories to be remembered! The owner of the restaurant is building a castle – not what I have in mind for Hampden!
Have a great week.