First Black Beech Monitoring Trip
Black Beech Monitoring on Adele Island, 3 July 2014
The aim of this day was to monitor the black beech trees that had been planted on the island in May. I went with another student, Joe, and the team from DOC, Project Janszoon and a volunteer from the Birdsong Trust.
Our job was to tag the trees with numbered metal tags and report on how well they were growing. We also had to describe the plot where they were planted. This included measuring the incline of the slope that the trees were growing on. For this we used a tool called a inclinometer, which I had never heard of until then. We also helped with another trial. We planted some black beech seeds in a jute bag filled with duff to see if they will grow. This was to find out if seeds might germinate and grow if they are scattered on Adele. If this works, bags of seeds and duff could even be thrown from a helicopter and the plants might grow where they landed.
What I found most enjoyable was the whole atmosphere of the island. The only noises you could hear were the sounds of birdsong and the faint noise of the waves below. I can honestly say that there was nothing I did not enjoy from this experience. The people were nice, the island was peaceful and the whole experience was interesting.
I have to say that the most surprising thing about the island would have to be the birds. When I was there I did not see any sparrows like you see quite often on the mainland. Instead, they had all been replaced with South Island Robins. The robins were numerous and while I was there I only saw one with a tag attached to its leg. This indicates that these robins were all from a new generation than the ones released onto Adele.
I had a great day on the island monitoring the black beech trees and cannot wait to work with the Project Janszoon and DOC team again in the future!