Its been a while but we're back! After a bit of a break Mike, Dave & Kailash got back down to Taiko Camp last Wednesday & since then we've been busy opening up the traplines & setting up the loggers on the Taiko burrows.
Here's a Chatham Island Taiko from the other night complete with a radio transmitter taped to its tail - you can just see the end of the transmitter sticking out from under the bird's upper tail coverts.
Hopefully this bird has got a burrow somewhere out in the bush of SW Chatham Island and when it returns to its burrow we'll be able to track it down
You can also see its trying to eat my watch & I've got some fresh cuts on my wrist - they can be pretty bitey!
Its always exciting seeing the first Chatham Island Taiko poo of the season outside a burrow & knowing the birds have survived the winter. it looks like a few birds are back already, which is maybe a bit earlier than normal.
We don't talk about trapping much but there's already four less feral cats out in the bush, which can only be a good thing. Without cat control Chatham Island Taiko & Parea would be long gone.
Its going to be another busy season!
This should be the first year we record over a hundred adult Chatham Island Taiko - numbers are slowly increasing and we got pretty close last season, so fingers crossed! We're expecting the breeding population though to remain about the same as last year, about 34 pairs, give or take one or two - we lost three breeding pairs last year but four new pairs got together so, as long as the birds have survived the winter, the breeding population should remain about the same.
There's also going to be lots more trees planted, and hopefully this will be the first year we see a transferred Chatham Island Albatross chick back at Point Gap.....