Hello friends and family
As the penguins settle in to incubate their eggs, so I am slowly settling into a routine of working with Chris and Hiltrun in the reserves in the weekend and monitoring the reserves on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
My monitoring rounds consist of clearing the traps – the most common casualty is rabbits that run into the traps. I then use them to bait other traps. Then I change the SD cards in the trail cameras and make sure that the batteries are still operating. As I walk around I am looking for penguin casts – this is where the penguins spit up bones and other indigestible bits – Chris analyses these as part of his penguin diet study.
The main reason for monitoring is to check that the penguins are incubating their eggs, and that there are no injured or starving penguins near the beaches. I also keep an eye out for the other bird species that live here – the Spotted Shags have now laid their first eggs. I keep a record of what is happening and Hiltrun transfers the information to the data base.
On Tuesday the local DOC coastal manager came to visit the reserve so I took the opportunity to show her what is happening and I felt that the visit was valuable all round.
On Wednesday we went to the pre-season DOC monitoring meeting and then for dinner afterwards. I took the opportunity to buy some new gumboots from Para Rubber and a replacement electric jug as mine had started leaking.
Somehow it seems that time gallops in spring. The gap between last egg lay and first hatching is usually about 4 weeks and there is much to do.
Have a great week!