Stewart Island Rainbow from Sails Ashore

Kiwi on Ulva

Stewart Island Kiwi on Ulva Island

Kiwi Vanishing !!

Many years ago while I was the Stewart Island Forest Ranger my boss in Invercargill encouraged me to shift Kiwi onto Ulva Island … there were none there. I think about 6 or 8 were moved there. Since then the population has increased to the mid 30’s, or so the DoC staff tell me. Stewart Island Kiwi are quite atypical, in that they are often seen feeding during the day, and now we are seeing them not infrequently. Always a great thrill for my guests of course, and I’m not immune to the excitement either.  Usually the birds just ignore us, and continue to go about their business. But yesterday while over on Ulva with two Australian ladies we manage to find one, which ended up between me and my guests on a track. It really got quite confused, not knowing which way to go, as we were only maybe 5 to 8 metres apart. I had only my phone, and although I attempted a photo, thought I had missed until I found this shot this morning.

Around Sails Ashore

And a couple of nights ago Iris heard a Kiwi pair both calling from quite close to Sails Ashore.

El Nino

Normally I carry my camera with me when I take folk on our Ulva Tour, but the forecast that day was for steady rain, and so I left it behind … the second time this season, and something I haven’t done for many a long day

And of course with a climate as changeable as ours, rainbows are a real delight

And of course with a climate as changeable as ours, rainbows are a real delight

The met people tell us this is going to be an “El Nino” year. And for us at the far south of New Zealand that means more Westerly quarter winds coupled with a wetter than normal summer. But we are after all temperate rain forest and also situated at around 46 deg 52 minutes South latitude …  well into the “Roaring 40’s” so called by the old wool clippers “running their Easterly down” for the passage from Australia and New Zealand around Cape Horn on the way back to Europe.

We’ve probably been a bit spoiled, as the past several years have been very settled, and little wind, and also quite dry. This year spring and early summer have been wet and windy, and consequently Iris’ vegetable garden is maybe 4 to 6 weeks later than usual.

On the upside, we don’t often get days of constant rain. It will rain steadily as the front goes over, and then showers and fine sunny periods…… which makes Stewart Islanders comments that we can have all 4 seasons in a day understandable… The cynical will add … “and a darn good start on the 5th season, as well “. We tell visitors to bring layers, a pair of good walking shoes, a shower proof coat and hat, and a sense of adventure.

Oystercatcher Nest Update

Ostercatcher approching it's nest on Ulva Island

And good news….. the nest I mentioned in my last post has survived the spring tides. Mum is happily sitting on her eggs, and yelled at me when I went to see if she was OK.