Occasionally in a hut book someone makes a big claim about the poison 1080.
On this occasion there is an assertion, amongst others, that it kills kiwi, that is palpably wrong. DOC has monitored 430 kiwi during and after 1080 drops over the years, and not one has died as a consequence. Kea may well be affected, but bird fledging after 1080 is way up for all monitored species the following and subsequent years, well, until stoats return.
On the other hand my own experience at Trevor Carter Hut is interesting.
When I stayed here in April 2004, the hut was pretty new, a possum or two rampaged up and down the veranda at night. Now there are none, wekas instead, and right outside the hut young rata and fuchsia plants, generally delectable to possums.
And now the early morning bird life was really something.
Also noted is the lack of browsing on the broadleaf, favourite only of deer, which indicates helicopter shooting has had a major affect on deer numbers.
Overall, in 12 years there has been significant change to the forest and birds. I have been wholly sceptical about 1080 but the evidence in its favour is overwhelming around here.
I trundled off down the valley, no big rush, I left about 9 am and after five hours actual walking, I stumbled into Venus around 5 30 pm.
There are three routes to start the walk to Thor Hut from Trevor Carter.
Walk back up the valley and cross the Karamea on the suspension bridge and then walk down on the other side, you have to cross Kendall Creek which is a substantial tributary.
Cross directly in front of the hut, then Kendall Creek. It’s thigh deep but not flowing all that swiftly.
Walk the direct route, and cross once Kendall Creek has joined the Karamea, a bit over a kilometre downstream.
I went direct, I knew the crossing was shallower than in front and I managed to dash across without getting my socks wet.
Shortly thereafter a group of birds was being very noisy and I sat down to have a look. Seems they, grey warblers perhaps, were dive bombing a stoat that was running around in circles vigorously. Then it popped over the track, hopping like a lively squirrel. Suddenly it ran back and then for a third time.
The 2014 1080 dump stopped on the other side of the river, much of Kahurangi National Park was covered but not a crucial section to the west. They should have stopped up on the mountain tops rather then one side of a river me thinks.
There were a few birds today, a couple of wekas, some robins and tomtits. I thought I heard some chattering from some kakariki/parakeets but I’ve got them on my brain.
The weather turned out to be sunny, quite stable, I even worked up a little summer’s sweat.
All in all a pleasant day’s walk, some swampy bits to skip around but no big climbs and once past the old Thor Hut there was the river adjacent.
At one point I looked down through a gap in the foliage and there were three decent sized brown trout wafting about in the current, cruising in circles just below me. I sat for an hour just watching them float around. I guess they must be hungry after the recent flooding with the water starting to look clearer once again.