Hello friends and family
This week has been shaded by missing chicks. We had one go missing at nest 140 and we had no idea what happened to it. Then on Thursday morning we could not find 3 more. We were very worried, but with no sign of predation, we did not have enough information to act. All the rest of the chicks are making good progress. At the same time, we have trapped 8 ferrets and 2 cats. So far this season we have found 40 predated storm petrels – this number must surely put this colony at risk.
Predators that are not hungry are doubly difficult to catch. Aaron shot 80+ rabbits in 2 nights when he was here – not even making a dent. Ross from the farm estimates 10,000 rabbits have been shot on the farm in the last 3 years. Our best chance to control the predators is when young ones are dispersing from the nest.
All that changed on Thursday evening when Daniel and I went to the Moeraki colony to check for the missing chicks. We found the 140 chick that had been missing for a week. This is the benefit of micro-chipping – we can identify individual chicks even if they have wandered far from home. We also located 2 of the other missing chicks. On Friday we found the last missing chicks so all is well for now.
Friday is our day off, so we went to the Waitaki river mouth. We went on the north side and it has changed a great deal. It now flows straight into the sea so is not quite as dramatic. We got our drama from buying a new element for the stove – over $140 – ridiculous!
Kaitlyn and Anne called in yesterday on their way back to Christchurch and it was great to see them.
Have a great week!