+64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz

Hookers Sealion Pair

A couple of days ago we discovered a pair of Hookers Sealions on Sydney Cove .   Now that on it’s own is not really all that unusual, but these two were male and female. We don’t see females that often here.

At a guess the male might have been 5 or 6 years old. A big boy, but not yet with the mane and size of a beachmaster. Generally Hookers will be around 8 years old before they are large enough to fight their way into the breeding colonies, although they reach sexual maturity at around 4 years. But occasionally a young mature will “Get Lucky” as this one appears to have.

She was definitely “interested”, and no doubt about his interest at all. But generally breeding takes place around mid December, and as this is around a month and a half early I doubt she was in oestrus, as she wasn’t “presenting” for him, and he wasn’t really attempting to cover her.  In addition she looked quite young, and maybe wasn’t fully mature.

But I understand we now have a growing breeding colony at Port Pegasus, something new, as when we were chartering there in the early 2000’s there were very few females, and we never saw any pups.

So maybe this is the start of animals breeding around the Inlet. Our many sandy beaches could well be attractive for them.

Hookers Sealion Pair, Sails Stewart Island Tours

Loves Young Dream

Hookers Sealion Pair, Sails Stewart Island Tours

Not a successful mating, by the look of it

Hookers Sealion Pair, Sails Stewart Island Tours

Go Away, This ones mine, I found her first

Mistletoe, Sails Stewart Island Tours

Mistletoe Blooms Ileostylus micranthus

Small Spider on Stewart Island Mistletoe

And the Little

We have quite a few Mistletoe clumps around the Sails Ashore Garden, and there is a large one in our entrance. I’ll generally point it out to guests with the comment  … just in case you’re feeling frisky … And at this time of year it’s in flower.

I pulled a small branch down for our guests to have a look at …. the flowers are tiny, green and with yellow stamen. Utterly unspectacular.

But this one had a tiny brown spider, with a faint green arrowhead with  small yellow “eyes” on her (??) back. Her, because I think she had babies scattered around the base of the flower heads.