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Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 37, 31 March 2019

Next Working Bees

Sunday 14th April 2pm and Saturday 27th April 2pm .... Meet at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout for both working bees … we will be clearing and watering existing seedlings or planting new seedlings if we have significant rain (Check our website below for further information). Note…2pm starts in Autumn & Winter.

Recent Work

We had two normal working bees this month, with 8 of us on Sunday 17th(including 5 students) and 12 of us on Saturday 30th(including 7 students). There were 2 extra watering bees with 7 of us total. Our work included clearing, mulching and watering new seedlings and cutting out big weeds. Thanks to those involved, those who have also worked on other days and to Barb for biscuits!

Locusts Again

We’ve mentioned these before, but many people are still unaware of them. You can often see them fly up out of the dry grass on the sunny slopes and quickly drop back into the grass several meters away. These are our native Migratory Locusts/kapakapa, also found in many other countries, but they don’t swarm in NZ. They are about 6cm long.

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Watering

We have had only 28mm of rain this month (43mm last March), but 81mm evapotranspiration (77mm last March). Soil moisture generally disappeared about the end of January and is still absent. The situation is still desperate for our seedlings, but thanks to dozens of people using our (bottles and water bins) watering system, many of them are still surviving. Please keep up the watering a little longer as we wait for lots of gentle rain!! This time last year we had ample soil moisture and had started our annual planting.

Pests

The tally of animal pests eliminated in March was 2 possums, 2 hedgehogs, 4 rats and 9 mice (an increase in mice on March last year). We have seen more Asian Paper Wasps again, but still not come across more nests yet.

Weeds

Please keep cutting these, especially Boneseed (saltbush), Fennel, Blackberry and Banana Passionfruit.

Seedlings

Our seedlings for this year are ready to pick up, but we will be waiting until there is reasonable soil moisture.

Birds

Our next 6 monthly count will be Friday 12th April. Meet below Craigieburn Lane entrance at 9am if you would like to help.

Climate Change Challenge

Several members have taken up the challenge to reduce their emissions by 1% each month for the next 11 years and the Challenge is being circulated throughout the country. For those who want to join in, the website for the free on-line Household Calculator and tips is www.enviro-mark.com. There are two very informative “power-point” presentations from the Redcliffs Residents public meeting which I can send to you on request.

Moreporks/Ruru

Late last year I built a Ruru nestbox and some students at Mt Pleasant School very artistically painted branches, leaves and sky all over it. We identified the most suitable tree we could find in the Reserve to host it and Council Ornithologist Andrew Crossland has now confirmed the suitability of that tree. It remains for us to clear big weeds around the tree, pest proof it, erect the nestbox and wait for a pair of Ruru to fly our way and set up home. They eat mainly moths, but also mice and that will be nice!

Volunteers

We now have 157 supporters on our email list and look forward to having more volunteers join us for a chat and helping hand on our future working bees. You are sure to find it very satisfying, planting and caring for native trees and wildlife and restoring the Reserve to its former glory, especially for the local community.

If you want to volunteer any time or resources to this long-term community project, contact Dave Bryce 021363498 or email: ecosolutions@xtra.co.nz.

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE at www.draytonreservevolunteers.org.nz