Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Rangers Report February 2020

Well, we have had some rain at long, long last and it has helped the grass grow in some areas and cooled things off a bit but as you know we are still in need of far more rain to add vital moisture back into the ground, and even more rain to recover the large loss of ground water reserves.

Well, we have had some rain at long, long last and it has helped the grass grow in some areas and cooled things off a bit but as you know we are still in need of far more rain to add vital moisture back into the ground, and even more rain to recover the large loss of ground water reserves. However, some positive recent observations have been made in and around the reserve, including a large group of whitehead/popokatea and many adult and juvenile bellbirds/korimako, kereru, tui, tomtit/miromiro, silver eye/tauhou. This comes as a great relief because it indicates that these birds are able to manage through severe drought and continue to breed successfully too. We are hearing and seeing North Island robins in their known spots, so they seem to be okay also. As these robins feed on ground insects, just like the kiwi, they have been finding it very difficult to get food in the hard ground so perhaps they are remaining quiet and conservative in their behaviour and breeding. Many of the large taraire trees on the southern aspect of the reserve are still in drought ‘shock’, as well as many establishment trees/shrubs and ferns on the north side. I can only hope that the forecast rains do arrive and a good deal of these plants bounce back to good health again – it is definitely not a pretty sight up there in those areas!

Generous support from DOC

The upgrade to our community conservation facility (or HQ) has been humming along nicely, and for those who have visited it at the start of the Peach Cove Track you will see it is close to completion. Spouting and down pipes, water tank and stand and more deck screws have been installed and soon we will have an all-weather roof spanning over the deck area between the three shipping containers. This roof is being kindly paid for through our local Department of Conservation office budget and we are so immensely grateful to the department and particularly its local operations manager Louisa Gritt for the support to help build this shared community facility. We are hoping too that we will have the facility all powered up some day in the near future, and we are working with Northpower who are kindly supporting this part of the build project.  While the weather is nice, we wanted to host a grand opening celebration event at this facility giving us chance to acknowledge and thank all the wonderful landowners, businesses and individuals who supported this project with supplies and donations. Unfortunately we have had to postpone the opening event and hope to re-schedule in the spring.

The BHCT has further developed its great partnership with the DOC through the attainment of several small contracts on public conservation land. One of these is the newly formed contract to maintain and service the Peach Cove Hut, and the Peach Cove and Te Whara tracks. BHCT volunteers have been sought and trained to carry out these checks to the required standards and the whole project is managed by the Trust rangers and our wonderful volunteer coordinator Jenny Lawrence.

Other happenings this month included more work on the HQ facility, continuation of our new contracts with DOC and NRC, positive weed control by BHCT rangers and volunteers alongside local DOC staff, fires on the beach and so much more. Read on and enjoy!