So the first Pacific Golden Plover on Samoa landed on the lawns of Bahai house of worship on 14th September. Since then I’ve seen several more, and they do like to hang out in their preferred patches of lawn.
Ah! the fickleness of diary-writing, keeping up to date with one’s social networks, and doing an honest day’s work. A month or more has passed, and many things have happened. My father passed away at the end of August, and I traveled days and long distance to get to Holland where he had lived for the past 20-odd years. I’ve had time to reflect on mortality. Mine and that of others. Here in Samoa, people take funerals very seriously. For days, if not weeks of negotiated settlement, gifting and a show of family strengths. My own time in Holland was spent dealing with notaries, lawyers, revenue services, pension funds and banks. And a suddenly very-alone 80-year-old mother after 54 years of marriage. It’s going to take a little while to iron things out, but I am sure they will. And I’ll be doing a fair bit of to-ing and fro-ing in the meanwhile.
Back in Samoa the mynas obviously had a respite from my trapping efforts, but alas! they are simply way to smart for the walk-in trap provided by the Ministry. I’ve caught bundles of bulbuls, but not a single myna. And my trap is one of only forty purchased by the Ministry to catch 450 000 birds. This means that each trap should be catching about 10 000 birds to make a dent on the present population. Frankly, I don’t think so. Alpha-chloralose is probably the answer, or some other narcotic with a very short half-life, at carefully selected baiting sites in the vicinity of the large roosts.
I’ve shifted my attention to recording the vocalisations of Samoan endemics, and I’ve been trying to get recordings of the “mao” or giant honeycreeper, to see how responsive they are to playback. This has gotten me to hang around what must be one of the nicer looking buildings in Samao – the Bahai house of worship, just down the road from my place, and on the edge of nice piece of relict rain forest, where a couple of maos have been reported. No such luck yet, but the gardens are great, and the people are very friendly!
Apparently there are some 6 or 7 distinct bahai temples of architectural acclaim in the world, and this is one of them.