When they arrived back from Macauley Island and its 6.1 earthquake our intrepid land dwellers described it as “heinous” but - letting nothing getting in the way of their dedicated pursuit of scientific discovery - they have created this excellent photo essay to give you a glimpse of life on the island.
The photo essay is courtesy of botanist Peter who you’ll see here also starring as an ornithologist. Macauley might look like a benign golf course but Peter and Warren assure me that the chest-high fern and sedge with a nasty cutting edge made for slow and unpleasant travel, especially as the ground underneath was honeycombed with old bird burrows which kept collapsing (and their legs certainly show the scars!)
The Kermadec poplar was down to a single tree by the time kiore were eradicated, but while that original tree has since died it has been replaced by a number of others.
Without kiore to eat the seeds, there are ample Kermadec poplar seedlings coming away, and Peter is confident that native forest regeneration will happen of its own accord.
White-naped petrels breed only on Macauley Island, and while they can’t nest under the thick fern the bare ground under the Kermadec poplars is riddled with their burrows, and their fortunes should improve as the poplar forest spreads.
Here is bird man Peter with a white-naped petrel, showing the white band across its shoulders which gives it its name.
And finally a rare high angle view of Haszard Islet, taken from Macauley Island. Crystal clear waters. From this angle there’s nothing “heinous” about it – ah, the joy of a photo essay – all the beauty with none of the intrepid bits.