Day 6 on Anchor Island. 29th December 2009. Visit from Rooster.

Did the kakapo feedout run myself today changing JEM’s hoppers with only a map and a radio for company. The radio channel we use is also the same channel used by the deer hunters on Resolution Island, and listening to their banter whilst out wandering was strangely reassuring. There’s always lively conversations to be heard on the radio between the deer hunters and favourite topics are how to clean guns, corned beef or venison for dinner and the antics of their tracker dogs. It’s worth listening to purely for entertainment!

Took 6 hours but got back 2 hours earlier than expected as I had factored in time for becoming disoriented on tracks and manoevering steep, slippery tree roots which weave in and out of the majority of the tracks. Halfway through the day I met up with Tim and Steve in the bush who were busy clearing tracks with the machete and chain saw, had a lovely lunch and rest for half an hour. Great day, learning GPS, telemetry, database and bush skills. Getting to know Anchor and her tracks and terrain like the back of my hand like the back of my hand, getting more confident, fitter and stronger every day. Have become an expert in sliding and falling over. Katmandhu boots have been my wisest ever investment. Views of the Sounds from high points of the island are amazing, words and pictures couldn’t do it justice. Loving feasting like kings with the guys, watching Western movies, playing A-Z games and hut life in general. Tonight we enjoyed a falafel and couscous meditteranean type dinner courtesy of Tim and made a quiz for the deer hunters on Resolution Island and learned that Arachibutyrophobia is the phobia related to the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.

The 3 of us have agreed that being so physically tired at the end of each day enhances our pleasure of the simplest of things such as food, alcohol, relaxing, hot showers, etc. I brought my laptop but surprisingly I haven’t used it, and just use the internet from the office to check emails every other day. Living so closely with just 2 other people for just a few days and the rest of the world seems to have fallen away from existence for me, and it’s something I’m really enjoying at the moment, but I’m not sure if I could work in such isolation forever… who knows. But for now, it’s hard to think of a place I’d rather be.

Rooster came to visit us at the hut again last night just before bedtime. Sneaked into Tim’s bedroom whilst we were watching a movie, apparently under the impression that nobody would hear him, even though he weighs a tonne and belongs to the heaviest parrot family! I heard him, but Tim didn’t, and when Tim went to his room and cried out “Aw Roosteeeeer!”, I knew that he’d encountered the curious kakapo. Afterwards, Tim described how, at that moment in time, for a split second he and Rooster made eye contact at exactly the same time, looked at each other, surprised and bemused, before Rooster, caught red-handed, saw his escape route and took it – no coaxing required this time! He knows exactly that he’s not supposed to come inside, which is probably why he darted in a straight line past Tim out the open door at opposite end of the deck with his wings in the air as if in defiance/protest. Made a loud thudthud – thudthud – thudthud as he hastily ran the length of the wooden decking. A very funny moment! Was brushing my teeth before going to bed, bathroom door is opposite the door of the hut which is covered with clear plastic sheeting. Rooster was standing  outside watching me with the cutest pitiful look on his face! When I saw him and he looked away guiltily and jumped off the step, which I suppose is good… we really don’t want him hanging around us humans too much for his own sake and I think he is still young enough to learn who he should and shouldn’t be hanging out with. Unlike Sirocco, I think there is hope for Rooster that he won’t become imprinted on humans, and is just innocently full of mischief because he’s young.

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