By Sue Hensley
Sirocco, that scintillating parrot, will be visiting the Orokonui Ecosanctuary from 6 September to 6 October. Details will be on the website. An early-bird discount (10% regular, 25% for members) will be offered to those who book for the first week (6-12 September).
Pest monitoring continues to produce good results. All introduced mammals are currently at undetectable levels. Mice have been at low levels for 10 months now and the 277 permanently set mouse boxes have not caught anything for six weeks. Solving issues with the fence, with culverts and changes in the pest monitoring regime have helped, and the enormous hours put in by field staff and skilled volunteers have been essential.
For the first time since July 2007 the aviaries are empty. Marcus, the male kaka, was released last month and Kleopatra the one-legged female kaka has been transferred to the Dunedin Botanic Gardens where she will be well looked after by the knowledgeable Tim Cotter, who hopes she will breed there.
The final Matariki events were lots of fun. The packed Pecha Kucha evening covered everything from archaeology, art and astronomy through to healing and deep-sea oil drilling. Workshops by Fleur Sullivan (cooking) and Kane Holmes (stars) again delivered wonderful experiences. A small but appreciative audience were swept along by a dramatic presentation of the early Antarctic explorers by the Bond St Bridge band. Neville Peat set the scene brilliantly by sharing his Antarctic experiences including research for his book Shackleton's Whisky.
Our small and dedicated cafe staff have been very busy with functions, a wide variety of Matariki events as well as daily cafe usage. However patronage usually takes a dive during August and it has been decided to trial a month's closure. Moira and her crew will take a well-deserved break from Monday 5 August, reopening on Saturday, 31 August.News, activities and information on Sirocco the kakapo's September visit can be found on www.orokonui.org.nz or Facebook