Tom’s territory – with Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe in the far distance
Tom had been awol for about seven months. We last heard him in mid-December 2021 and, despite an extensive search by Mike and Lyn, he remained silent until early July, when he suddenly reappeared!Deb did a double take to make sure she had programmed the correct channel on the receiver, because she had all but given up hope of ever hearing him again. With a one-day break in the weather later that week, David and Deb headed up onto the main Kaweka range and south for what turned out to be another long (10-hour) kiwi adventure, with the last half-hour walk by torchlight.
It was a fabulous day with great views all round, and no breeze except for the late afternoon when it turned to a very cold wind and all the layers went on. The highlight of the day, in addition to finding Tom, was seeing a pair of falcon (kārearea) on Mad Dog Hill.
Tom gave us the run-around in his teenage years; he was released at Middle Hill Hut in May 2015 and within 10 months had wandered over the main range heading towards Venison Tops.At that time, Mary and Deb picked him up and carried him in a box back to Middle Hill, but he soon went back over the range into the headwaters of Rocks Ahead Stream and then made his way south to his current location south of Kaiarahi. He possibly produced his first chicks last season.
Tom didn’t know it at the time, but it was his lucky day!
Deb reports: ‘We removed his transmitter as we haven’t the resources to retrieve his chicks or eggs – he’s too far away. Go well, Tom.’