Time to catch up.

i 8th July, 2018
Kereru feeding on nikau
Kereru feeding on nikau

So lots have happened since last time we added something here. Actually a year ago, when we added our last post about the Garden Bird Survey. Today is the last day of the 2018 Survey and we have had some reports of some interesting counts. Both kereru and falcon, lots of silvereyes and of course sparrows, starlings, blackbirds etc.

Let shope the numbers of native birds increase now that predator free Miramar has gone full underway with all the backyard trapping and with the slight increase of traps in the bush. Up today TMK have trapped 181 rats, 41 hedgehogs, 5 weasles and a bunch of mice in hits of 198. So good numbers there from centennial reserve, Scorching Bay Reserve and Overton Park.

The Garden bird survey has showed over the past years that the numbers of Silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis) have decreased, and to what reason we are a bit unsure off. Birds act as 'backyard barometers' - telling us about the health of the environment we live in. We should be listening. SIlvereyes are a self introduced species that recently arrived from Australia at teh time of European colonisation. However, they might have occasionally been visiting before peple.

Over the past year we have had together with Worser Bay school what we call guardians of the forest. That was a funfill activity day to learn more about the bush, study it and also look for invasive species and collect points. We also presented at Restoration day 2018 with our presentation, fifty shades of green about secondary planting and plant enhancment. We also did a presentation on reptiles of MIramar at a reptile conference at Nga Manu back in late June. We have also had our new edition our of teh miramar Good neighbour guide.

We are in the middle of the planting Season and we have had some succesful community planting days. Mostly at the site at Scorching Bay reserve. But we have also had smaller group of planting and this year we have species that we did not had available in previous years, like large leaved milktree (Streblus banksii) and a good sized numbers of Rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum). We have also over a hundred Nikau palms (Rhopalostylis sapida)

We have currently planted over 700 trees, but we still have many to go. Next big plant season together with some talks will be our event day "Biodiversity in the bush"

And while me mention NIkau, We discovered the other day that some of our nikau planted in the bush in 2012 had gone missing. THey had been dug up and our facebook post did reach some media like the radio.

On fb we had volunteer Pete write a post;

"Stolen! Four nikau palms planted by our volunteers in 2012 in Centennial Reserve have been dug up and taken away. Here’s a picture of volunteers planting them in 2012 and one of the holes they came from.
Lots of time and effort goes into collecting seed, growing seedlings and planting to help restore the local bush and bring the wildlife back. Most of that time is put in by volunteers.
The palms were a few years old when they were planted and had established well after six years in the ground. They are unlikely to survive being transplanted so roughly as they don’t cope well with root disturbance.
This is not the first time plants like this have been stolen from the ground in local Reserves. We’re coming up with ideas about how to stop this happening again. Maybe hidden cameras? If you see suspicious looking people removing plants from the bush please call the police and let us know asap.
Needless to say this is more than a little annoying. Some light-green-fingered thieves stole our precious. We’ll leave the last words to Gollum: “The thieves. The thieves. The filthy little thieves.”

We will replace these planted nikau and while its not the first time we loose nikau, (its actualy the third) we will pass on teh details to teh police and potentially monitor parts of the bush with cameras.

In the meantime we keep digging and planting and reach out to the community to help them being a part of the wider green picture.