This two-week-old chick is one of the first kokako to hatch in Taranaki in over 30 years, after birds were released in Parininihi from Tiritiri Matangi earlier this year. A special moment for all of us - particularly Conrad O'Carroll, who has been leading this project and the restoration of the area for over a decade. As a bonus, this chick is one of an uncommon three-chick clutch, with three healthy birds! Unfortunately their mum Mere is a shoddy builder of nests and Dave had to wire her lopsided creation to its tree to avoid it falling out under the weight of a rapidly growing brood.
There are now six pairs at Parininihi, with four active nests. Unfortunately two other nests had inviable eggs, probably because their parents are closely related in both cases. Fingers and toes are crossed for the two nest with eggs yet to hatch; one in an inaccessible clump of supplejack (and hopefully therefore safe) and one just a metre and a bit off the ground.
Dave and I completed the slightly monotonous 24km Pouakai circuit a day early, drove to Dawson Falls and wandered the hour in to Waingongoro Hut; an excellent trail through a dense and eerie kamahi/fern forest over drinkable streams, with a view of the maunga from the hut deck. Sometimes the best ones are the short ones.