Fonterra assistance with Long Point nest searching
Thursday 18th October, 2012After only one week in his job as graduate Environmental Officer at Fonterra Edendale, Sean Spencer was thrown in the deep end on Monday 15 October. He assisted with the annual yellow-eyed penguin nest search at Long Point/Irahuka.
The search team, led by Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust Ranger Leith Thomson, included Field Manager David McFarlane and Dunedin volunteers Suus Claessen and Ian Bretherton.
Strong south-easterly gales and showers buffeted the point as the team searched Manuka Beach and Western Bay for nests, and checked birds for transponder tags using a wand reader. Despite the miserable conditions, the team found 35 nests. With a further two nesting bays yet to be checked, it is hoped that nest numbers will equal the 50 found last year.
It is almost 20 years since the relationship between Fonterra's Mainland Brand and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust reached a national audience. A television advertisement, showing Roy Wesney and a yellow-eyed penguin outside the Mahinapua Pub on the West Coast, highlighted Mainland's commitment as principle sponsor of the Trust.
While Sean is too young to remember the advertisement, it seems appropriate that he was helping with the search and monitoring of this special bird.