Anecdotal & incidental observations:
Metrosideros fulgens: orange or scarlet rata
Question to the
phenology group from
Just spent a couple of weeks in the bush at four different locations (10-14 and 24 to 28 March, Trains, Mt Humphries, Thompsons Clearing, Mangarau hut all in the Waitotara Conservation Area). One of the locations (Trains) was a non-treatment site for a large aerial 1080 possum control operation (that included the other three sites) six years ago. What struck me was the the orange or scarlet rata (Metrosideros fulgens) was much more obviously in flower at sites that had been treated than the site without treatment. I hadn't consciously noticed any possum browse on this species before so was rather surprised by this observation. The apparent abundance of M. fulgens correlated well with greater conspicousness/numbers of tui and bellheards heard and seen.
Does anybody else have any observations on whether possums affect the flowering of M. fulgens elsewhere?
Wednesday, 9 April 2003
Thursday, 10 April 2003
Tuesday, 8 April
Tuesday, 8 April
Myrisne salicina: toro
to the phenology group from
Here on Kapiti Island, as part of our kokako monitoring programme we collect many feeding observations, and have got to know their preferences quite well. We were quite surprised to find that there have been 15 observations of them getting into Toro fruit this year, with only 3 obs. in previous seasons (about 4 summers of consistent feeding records, and a couple of years worth of more incidental notes). Given that several of their normally preferred fruits: 5 finger, mahoe and kanono have been not readily, or at all, available this season then it would be interesting to know if this sudden interest in toro is due to:
A)it's not a favoured fruit, but there's been so little of anything else available that they're begrudgingly eating it
B)it is a favoured fruit, but one that is only occasionally available in large quantities
What would answer this is knowing whether toro fruits most years (suggesting A) or whether it has very rare mast years with little or no fruit produced between times (suggesting B). Or somewhere in between that would further confuse us. Yes, it's yet another case of birdwatchers only noticing the plants when the birds start eating them!!! Terrible I know!
8 April 2003
Seen: thrush sitting on fruit and digging claws into fruit, then flying off with it