Monday 29 November 2010

Stoatally different...

Well another day out on the hill today.  Started off a little cloudy, but was really just humidity based cloud I think and it eventually burnt off around 10am.  So another beautiful day up there.  The counting went well, so day four done.  Probably the most interesting thing today was seeing a little furry blur running along, and realising it was an adult stoat, less than 10m from me.  It was running down through a stream-bed and was carrying something large in its mouth.  It was actually a tui chick, and accounted for the tui alarm calls I had been hearing for the last wee while.  I suspect the bird was an early fledger, it looked about the size that you sometimes see them having left the nest, and perhaps was on or near the ground.  I would have thought tui nests would generally be out of reach to these guys, even though they are incredible climbers.

I watched it head down the stream bed, and go out of sight about 100m away.  It sure could cover some ground on its little short legs though!  Even though they are possibly one of NZs worst introductions, they are amazing little animals when seen this close.

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