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[LBI 2012] Head in the clouds

October 27, 2012

[This is the twelfth 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.]


The weather had cleared enough to do runs again today, so I headed out at 06:40 to start on B line, the longest of the distance-monitoring routes. It starts just above sea level and covers 19 sampling points by climbing through bush, then up a stream bed, then more bush, then down and up Track 19/20, then more bush, more track, more bush, and finally onto stream-bed to walk out.

Because of the rains, the stream was flowing rather keenly when I arrived at it. This made accessing sampling points on the stream rather difficult, especially in the ‘steep-sided gorge’ section of stream. Around lunchtime, I received a text from Sandy advising me to avoid the stream wherever possible for safety reasons. With my boots already squelching unpleasantly from the morning, I agreed.

The cloud level today sat around 200 metres. Since Route B tops out around 400m, many of the sampling points were in the clouds. It turns out birds don’t really sing much in cloud.

This evening was the combined barbeque with weeders, Hihi-monitoring team and DoC staff. It was good, but I’m afraid I was too destroyed to be much use in conversation. However, just after the BBQ we were introduced to a pair of giant wetapunga who inhabit the ponga-log fence at the ranger’s house. They really are quite impressive insects.


From → Scientist

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