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Last month, Rein’s trip to Motuara included a visit from the DOC species dog certifier. While there, she was put through her paces and gained her full certification to become an official ‘Kiwi Dog’.

After getting home she was eager for her first assignment. An egg was due to be collected and Rein and I were to take a reporter from The Press (Diedre Mussen) on a trip into the sanctuary to rescue this egg and talk about the project for an article.

We arrived at our destination for the day and had a quick scan with the telemetry gear to get an idea of where ‘Whetu’ and ‘Marama’ might be nesting.

After walking for an hour along the track it was time to ‘go bush’. We had got into a position down wind of the nest to give Rein the best chance of finding it.

After 15 mins the nest had been found and we were looking for a way to get the egg out. The old stump that this pair called home had a small entrance that the birds were using but also a big hole in the top that I was able to peer into and see Whetu sitting tightly on his egg.

I dived down the hole head first and managed to reach the egg without too much hassle. As I retreated Diedre snapped this neat shot of Marama guarding their entrance with me in the background and the egg already safely in hand.

Deidre’s amazing photo shows me holding the egg with Marama poking her head out of the burrow in front.

Deidre's amazing photo shows me holding the egg with Marama poking her head out of the burrow in front.

Egg collecting with Marama on guard.

After marking the upright position and making sure the egg was fertile we packaged it safely into its warm chilly bin before heading for home.

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