I turned up expecting to pack up my desk, have morning tea, hand out some gifts and be gone by lunchtime. I still had assignments to finish and a presentation to get ready for the end of fellowship symposium next week.
I really had no idea how my day would turn out!
Jenny followed me into the office telling me that she was off to change the transmitter on one of the kiwi we monitor in the sanctuary. It was Ana, one of the female kiwi we were given from Orana Park in Christchurch a year earlier.
I was asked if I wanted to go with her- like she needed to ask!!! Of course I would. My other plans went out the window and off we went with our tracking aerial.
Jenny had tracked her a few days earlier and knew the general area that she was in. The plan was the Jenny and I would track Ana down and then Simon and Chauncy would come out and do the transmitter change.
As we got closer to our starting point the skies darkened and the rain began to fall.
This poses a dilemma- do we leave it for another day when it's not raining and run the risk of the battery running flat before it's fine again or go ahead and find her and hope it stops raining before we need to extract her from her burrow. It's not good practise to let a bird get wet.
After a discussion on the radio with Simon we decided to go ahead and keep tracking and then make a decision when we found her.
|Notice Jenny's shiny raincoat ..... it's not normally like that!|
Miss Ana was not as easy to find as the first kiwi tracking adventure I went on with Jenny!
We kept losing the signal, and boy did we have to climb amongest some thick supplejack to find her burrow.
When we eventually found her the rain had eased off a little so the transmitter change went ahead.
Ana had made her home in a hollow log with 2 entry/ exit holes.
All 4 sets of hands were required when it came to getting her out as 2 people were needed to guard the exit holes, one to follow her movement as she moved up and down the log and one to start digging her out.
I had the job of tracking her movement in the log. I was amazed that I could easily hear her movement inside the log. Once she got near the end of the log, Simon could start digging her as we effectively had her trapped in a section of the log. We had her out in no time with little fuss.
|Chauncy at one end of the log|
|Jenny at the other end of the log|
Hard to believe that 2 terms have come to an end.
This is not the end of the relationship between myself and Rotokare. I have become so passionate about the place and all that it represents that there is no way I could just walk away.
I am going to become one of those people who turn up to help on their days off work or at 9 am on a Sunday morning for a working bee! One of those people who talk about the place with the people they meet out on the tracks. I am going to be one of those people who answer the call that a job needs doing and my hands could do it. I can't wait for the next chapter of the Rotokare Residence to start!