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[LBI 2012] This one lacks a title

October 19, 2012

[This is the seventh in a series of posts – essentially diary entries – on fieldwork on Little Barrier Island, New Zealand. Internet access was unavailable on the island, so I am publishing them one-per-day now that I am back on the mainland.]

24/09/2012

Surprising everyone, there has been a solid run of good weather since we arrived: little wind, almost no rain, moderate cloud. So tomorrow is an enforced day off, to prevent us from exhausting ourselves. It will probably be good, but… what does one do for a whole day on Little Barrier, other than bush-crash? There are kayaks, and dolphins just offshore. Maybe something can be done with that combination. The beach, being bouldery, isn’t much use for sunbathing, but is productive in terms of fish. Maybe that could make an afternoon. Also: sleep.

Today was good in the field, and determinedly quick. The run (H line) was easy, reasonably shallow grades and easy bush. However, it was very productive: distance measurements on two hihi (both male), two saddleback and one tui. At one sampling point, a hihi was feeding until displaced by a kokako followed by a saddleback – certainly a popular tree.

Biota observations of the day: the streams here hold enough water to support eels – I saw a young one dart between pools on my way back to base. And: Kaka will occasionally feed at ground level. I scared one into flight that was prising open a rotten log.

 
// Update on 25/09/2012

I finished monitoring early yesterday, and spent the afternoon watching seabirds, dolphins, and something that was possibly a seal or possibly a shark from the boulder bank. Terns have a really bizarre foraging flight – they have almost no mass and incredible manoeuvrability. The dolphins were just cruising, but apparently Sunkita and Kate were able to attract them by banging rocks together underwater.

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