Mind the sandflies Rob!!!

April 3rd, 2009 § 1

I suspect Rob knows that I am a bit of a townie!! Before he left for his latest adventure he handed me the transcript of the diary of Mr A Sutherland, well known in hunting circles for his “early exploratory trips and hunting of the Wapiti herds of the Fiordland area” in the earlier part of the 20th century.

Alpine Tarn above the Glaisnock River Valley

Alpine Tarn above the Glaisnock River Valley

I have to admit that I tend to think of camping as the kind that involves a double roomed family tent, a comfy blow up double bed, and a deck chair.  I did try the real stuff once at school camp, and it didn’t do much for me.  Could be the fact that the tent we errected was on a slope on a pile of hard cow pats, and I emerged from the tent in the morning with a bruise the size of a dinner plate on my back.  Also sandflies really like me, and I am always great fodder for them and end up covered in  huge red welts.   So all in all, I think I will leave the hunting, tramping, and camping to the more hardy people such as Rob.

Watch for sandflies

Watch for sandflies

Reading the diary was really insightful for a townie like me however in highlighting the abundance of native birds that existed in Fiordland at that time.  Such a shame that this is not the reality today.  Here is a passage from the diary to give you an idea of what we’re missing.

“The ground birds when we first knew this valley were numerous.  Around Lake Thomson especially, with brown kiwi and the big spotted one were numerous….  As the kiwi is a night bird one rarely sees them but the wood hen or weka was at the time fairly plentiful.  They are friendly birds and before the camp was pitched several would be investigating and one had to be very careful leaving small things around such as soap, shaving gear, bacon etc…..Other birds that were plentiful were the kaka and the kea…..The smaller birds were well represented.  Dozens of fantails …Tom-tits were frequently seen, as were bellbirds, white eyes, bush wren and kingfishers.  The Morepork was heard at night and seemed numerous.”

Native Fantails

Native Fantail

What a great picture that creates!!  As we all know the introduction of mice, rats and stoats has taken its toll on the native bird population.  To help erradicate these pests from Fiordland Nature’s Pic Images has sponsored a trap with Johan & Joyce of W-Jet on the Wairaurahiri River in Fiordland National Park.  This is a wonderful conservation project and we encourage others to get on board to support this initative.  Check out W-Jets stoat trapping project online here.

We have to confess to some stoat envy here!  Martini Design of Wellington has successfully trapped one stoat already, while we are waiting for our first kill.   We asked Martini for there secret of success and they suggested that it was all in the name.  Their trap is called The Killer Martini!! They suggested some names for us to try, such as Nature’s Pics Slick Slayer or Nature’s Pics Perfect Predator.  If you have any more suggestions on names for the trap let us know. Or even better sponsor a trap and create a name for your own!!  Join the competition to see who can eradicate the most!!!!

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§ One Response to “Mind the sandflies Rob!!!”

  • W Bartmann says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. :) I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

    A definite great read..

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