|Looking in the nest box using a built in camera|
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
It has been a case of good news and bad news. The good news is that a Morepork nested and sat on two eggs in the nest box for over 30 days which is the incubation period. The bad news is that the eggs were infertile so nothing hatched. Juveniles reach sexual maturity at the end of their first year, but the male only mates when he is two years old and female when she is three years old so we are wondering if they are an immature pair. We had two eggs laid last year but they never sat on them. Those eggs were also infertile. We are hoping for a successful year this coming season.
The bird would temporarily leave the nest when we visited the box. She never seemed stressed in any way so this enabled one of our team, Jeanette Holborow, to take some excellent photos including a short video picture. Click on this link and it will take you to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9393rngZEsE&feature=youtu.be
In early December we had two young people set fire to the foliage on the east side of the walk bridge. It was fortunate that it was not as dry then as it is now. The fire engine was called and the fire was put out before it got a hold in the main part of the gully.
We are having a few problems with this sort of thing lately. Two lots of graffiti, the rubbish bin has been attacked on several occasions and one of our volunteer’s bag was taken one Wednesday. If anyone has information that identifies any of the people involved please contact the Trust. Contact details are on the heading of this page.
The Kowhia Community Group Ward in recognition of our huge contribution to local environmental initiatives. This award is sponsored by the Environment Centre Hamilton and Hamilton City Council and comes with a $400 grant. We would like to thank Gerard Kelly, HCC Community Planting Co-ordinator, for nominating our Trust and his ongoing support in our gully work.
The other Award was the Weedbusters Awards 2014 for weed busting on public land. This award is sponsored jointly by Department of Conservation and Waikato Regional Council.
Both these awards recognise the effort put in by our regular volunteers at our Wednesday morning working bees and the success we are having working towards our Trust’s vision to restore the native flora of the gully back, as near as possible, to pre-European status and to manage the gully in such a way that native fauna (birds, fish, bats, reptiles & insects) will re-establish, either naturally or by introduction and for this to be sustainable.
This project has been completed with the cat proof hedge of Corokia cotoneaster being planted. This will take a couple of years to become cat proof but we are satisfied that this will be an acceptable solution to the cat problem. We have introduced a female Skink and two young found nearby and are confident that others will soon take up residence.