July workday

A party of nine had a pleasant crossing and easy landing on Sunday morning. After the usual introductions and safety talk we split into work groups and made good progress with the tasks for the day.

Overhanging vegetation was removed from the rear of the shade house where the new cabins will be located.

This part of the shade house will be modified to locate the new cabins

Colin Cordes and his helpers removed the old weed mat from two shade houses and replaced it with new. This is part of the work needed to re-instate the nursery operation which we intend will commence when Vonny returns in September.

Karin stops off to admire the work as the team secure new weed mat

Other tasks included investigations into the sound system at the new site we are hoping diving petrels will adopt. After much tooing and froing it appears that the control box has a fault and that we need new speakers.

Kay Milton made a number of transect counts of birds as part of the fieldwork for a new national bird atlas of New Zealand while Chris Green continued his search for wētāpunga to collect DNA samples.

Sausage sizzle time

We finished the day with a few small tasks and then made a quick check of some penguin boxes. It’s great to see them back. There was also evidence of fluttering shearwaters attending some of their boxes, four gannets have taken up residence at their site near the north end and five NZ dotterel were present between Home and Macrocarpa Bays.

Fund raising for new accommodation under way

Work is well underway to purchase and install two new cabins which will provide dedicated overnight accommodation for our members and volunteers. The cabins will be located in the rear standing out area of the nursery which will be modified to suit.

New cabin

Funding for one of the cabins has been provided by a generous grant from the Becroft Foundation. We have also had a wonderful offer of dollar for dollar funding from one of our long-term members up to a total of $5,000. So if we can raise a matching amount that will be a total of $10,000 which will be enough to allow us to go ahead with the purchase.

Members and friends have received an e-mail appeal for donations but if you haven’t been contacted and would like to help please get in touch via mrsadmin@motuora.org.nz