Watching and listening

There are two pairs of weka in Te Papa Road and almost certainly a chick, one fleeting sighting. The continuing rain means the birds do not need to come to gardens for water as often and the natural food supply is abundant in the damp leaf litter. We get news from the rest of the coast road, and residents give us reliable reports of weka at Waiti Bay and behind Tawhitokino Beach. Then weka seem to be back at Orere Point (3 reports) and one sighting of a weka crossing the road well south of Orere.  So please do keep all reports coming; we like to know what is going on! Post on our Facebook page or contact us through our website.
Our committee were very interested to note that in contrast to the many weka, there are now no Californian quail in Te Papa Road – where have they gone?

Trapping

Our assault on the predators continues. As well as rats galore – 72 in the last month – we have also caught 2 weasels. Small, mean, and vicious, the weka
habitat is better off without them.

Painting

Further weka for our weka flock are available. Undercoated weka are available at the garage for $10 each.
Beautifully and uniquely painted weka ready to install are $25. They can be viewed by texting 027 2925175 and arranging a time to select one (or more!).
They will also be available at a WekaWatch market stall once the Saturday morning weather improves.

Experimenting

Once a trap has caught and killed one predator how long has that trap not been ready to catch another pest?
And what do we know about the ages of the mustelids we catch?
We reluctantly carried out a test to see how long it took a dead rat to go from fresh to maggoty to dehydrated!!!
We now know that most rats have been in a trap for at least 3 weeks before they are cleared.
Even more reluctantly we are retrieving all mustelid heads (or whole bodies) to double
bag and seal tightly in a box in the freezer for further study (by Tony our weka man!).
This is real citizen science done with thick gloves and breathing on hold!

Meeting

Our keen committee meets regularly to share news and observations plus plan for the
future. We have a vacancy if there is someone out there who would like to support our
efforts to improve the natural environment for all wildlife in Kawakawa Bay.

Thanking

Thank you to OUR Community Association for their very generous grant to cover the
cost of 400 more baits for our traps. This is sufficient bait for another 3 months of
predator control in the weka area. Yippee!!
Thank you also to Auckland Transport for 2 more weka warning signs. It
took 15 months but they are now there for all to see.