Banner Photo: Stanley, caught by Robyn
The ever-positive Fiona decided it was a good time to go find Stanley, despite Labour weekend madness and a misty morning. With a late start, we headed up and were surprised that, with the road now open (to the public), only three vehicles were in the Makahu car park.
It was a cool start and with damp bush the coats were on and we set off in the Don’s Spur direction. The going was good and even after crossing the stream we were feeling pretty happy. But alas, Stanley had other ideas and we headed steeply up into some contorta before finding him under the massive, impenetrable foliage of a fallen tree. We were debating if it wasn’t a willow.
Fiona was trying to pinpoint him and finally I sighted Stanley but was too slow and too noisy, so he did a runner. The super tracker was onto him and before Fiona could pinpoint again, I was down on my belly, saying “I got him”.
Fiona was getting perturbed as she couldn’t see us but could hear Stanley complaining and thought it was me. Neither of us had ever heard a kiwi put up such a noisy fuss and it didn’t stop until he was safely in the pillowcase.
Weighing in at 1300 grams and his leg having grown, his band went onto the adult hole.
If you ever get a chance to meet Stanley, it would be a great encounter just to hear his verbal attitude.
After a quick lunch, we decided we had time to check on Oji, another young kiwi who had recently moved from Hunters Track all the way over to the Ngaherenui Stream/Donald River area. We pulled the pin on that plan after a couple of hours – his signal was leading us into some gnarly, bluffy country – with the hope that he moves into some nice beech tree area. Here’s wishing!
* from Laurel and Hardy