We often talk about the great people who volunteer at Rameka. Three of the most enduring must be our stoat and rat trappers, Fill and Albie Burgers and Paul Kilgour.
Emails arrive in our inboxes on a regularly basis, updating us on what these three have been up to. Their thoughtful messages fill us with visions of Rameka and sudden hankerings to be away from our desks and back on the land. Here’s an example from Albie and Fill of one of their latest wanders around the block.
We checked the Great Expectations, Boundary & Odyssey traplines
yesterday, 22 December. A hot day, 30 degrees, and we were happy to
splash in a very shallow pool at the bottom of the Odyssey at the end of
Rebaited stoat traps on GX and B1 to B6 with white bantam eggs (thanks
to our friends, Hennie and Brian, who sometimes have spare eggs for us
and appreciate us trapping). Rebaited the remaining stoat traps with
erayz. Rebaited all the rat traps with peanut butter.
Caught NOTHING, ZILTCH, ZERO
Plenty of birdsong, the usual riroriro, californian quail, weka, a
kereru, piwakawaka, korimako and several tui. There’s a favourite spot
where we stop for a cuppa – the point where Great Expectations first
emerges from the pines and there are beaut views across to Farewell
Spit. We used to call it “Rat Corner” and set up five traps pretty close
to each other as there was a plague of rats there. However, we haven’t
caught any rats there for months and almost always see at least one tui
there, very likely nesting nearby, so it’s now called “Tui Terrace”.
We had a happy encounter with a juvenile korimako in flax flowers near
the top gate. It then flitted to a nearby flowering rata, one of the
first lot planted. Joy! Another rata near the Lair is flowering
stunningly, too. Also saw a Cinnabar moth fluttering about as we sat at
the cafe/station at the top of the project. Have only previously seen them up the Cobb, sitting with wings folded and not doing much. Interesting that they were introduced into New Zealand to control ragwort.
All the best for Christmas and the New Year
Albie and Fill”
See what I mean?
Thanks Albie, Fill and Paul for all the great work.