In December a news report from Auckland claimed the city was experiencing a massive increase in insects, this attributed to the record 2022 rainfall. That may be so but it’s certainly not the case in Wellington.
As elsewhere the capital also notched up a record 2022 rainfall with startling results, evidenced in my residence.
Measured flat I have circa 50 acres of bush and gardens and the upshot has been astonishing growth-wise. My gardeners have felled several 40 year old trees which have experienced crazy growth, they now thinning them out from their neighbours, something we never expected to do. One bunch of hydrangeas have literally doubled their height to 3 metres, and so it goes. Poplars have seemingly doubled in height, so too along the Hutt river.
But just as conspicuous is the absence of insects. Open the windows on a hot day and expect two house-flies at best instead of the normal swarm.
The swimming pool tells the story. Normally it’s a daily duty to rescue bumble-bees, locusts, wasps and small flies which land on the surface throughout the day. This summer it’s only about 3 insects daily.
Our usual rich bird life has all but disappeared despite us feeding them copiously.
Before Christmas I’d count about 40 sparrows hoeing in when we fed them. That all changed in the new year and now only about a dozen turn up. The normally numerous tuis have disappeared, there appears to be only one breeding pair of bush pigeons instead of the usual four or five and so it goes.
We have hundreds of fruit trees and usually the birds get stuck in pecking holes in the fruit but not this year, so it’s not a food issue.
I’ve enquired and others tell me they’ve observed the same abrupt disappearance of bird life on their properties.
There’s one obvious explanation. I blame bloody Jacinda.