What a difference a day makes! This morning I was dreaming of walking along a sandy beach in bare feet. The sand was squelching between my toes and the soles of my feet were being massaged with each step. The water was warm and gentle waves were lapping at my feet. I was wearing rolled up long pants that were wet and sandy at the cuffs …. then all of a sudden …. the alarm went off! What sort of a mean trick is that? Talk about ripped off! However no time to try and get back into the dream, I have to go to work, “Get up lazy bones”. I wasn’t that keen, after all it was only 5 am. Still I needed to leave by 6, so no time for a pity party. Once I was up old routines quickly fell into place and before long I was ready to head out of the door. No pictures – it was still very dark AND raining.
Rain is bad news for kiwi catching as the Kiwi Best Practice Manual (like a kiwi practitioners’ bible), says that kiwi should not be handled in wet weather. The birds stress moult and it’s not considered safe for their health and well being. Mica was pretty keen to get off to work though, she was excited to be off for an adventure with me and no other dogs! As the morning progressed the rain stopped and I figured it was okay to go out. Was expecting the bush to be pretty wet though.
The birds that we wanted to catch have transmitters on them, so they can be monitored from a distance, The battery life of a kiwi transmitter is one year and these two birds had their last transmitter change in April 2019. Not much time was left. I won’t go into too much detail but suffice to say, my work colleague, Mica and I found a burrow with two birds inside. One bird was known to me but the other is completely new. The birds were carefully extracted from their burrow and carried to a clear area so that I could change one transmitter and put a new one on the new bird. It was pretty exciting, especially for my co-worker who has now had her first ever close up encounter with a Great Spotted Kiwi. And not just one but two!
I never cease to be awed and amazed with kiwi. It is a true privilege to be able to work with such a taonga (treasure) of the forest. I have to acknowledge Mica as well, she is an excellent kiwi dog and makes my job so much easier by showing me where to look. I didn’t get a photo of her today but will include one from last season.
There were a few very interesting looking fungi in the bush today. Unfortunately I was unable to take photos of them while I was working with the kiwi. On the walk back to our vehicle I did spot a couple that were pretty cool. When I got home Laurie said I should go and look in our woodshed, and there was an entire family of mushrooms, right on my own back yard! So spoilt.
Well that’s it from me tonight. I have another day out working with kiwi tomorrow and I have that lovely dream I would like to try and find again! Night …