Female Bellbird

Female Bellbird
Female Bellbird

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Queenstown - the final roundup for a while.

We are now back in Christchurch having driven back on Saturday arriving last night. On Saturday morning I was able to erect a net and monitor while completing my chores and packing the car. I wasn't expecting much in the way of a catch, perhaps half a dozen or so. I was surprised to end up with 12 of 5 species, 7 new and 5 recaps. The majority of the new birds were juveniles with most of the recaps banded in the last year or so.
However there was one notable exception, a handsome male Chaffinch which had been banded 16 Sept 2015, 4 days after the first banding down there. At 1529 days from banding it is now the oldest recap of any species. Although it had been caught several times since banding it was 3 years since the last time.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Queenstown - only limited banding

We drove down here on Monday but it wasn't a very good trip. By the time I got here I was crook as a dog, possibly due to a dodgy chicken pie I ate on the way down. Finally got a couple of nets up Thursday morning. Caught 19 birds of 5 species, 13 new and 6 recaps.

Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 2 (2)
Dunnock - 0 (1)
Starling - 3 (0) also 2 nestlings in one of the boxes I erected several months ago. Unfortunatly they had fledged from the other 3 boxes. There are a huge number of newly fledged birds about.
A couple of the Starlings caught together, probably a mother and daughter
House Sparrow - 3 (0)
Tui - 3 (3) including a juvenile and the oldest female recap.
The new juvenile, a little girl.
One of the older recaps, a stroppy old male.
This morning Rachel came over from Wanaka, primarily for a chin wag and a catch up on her various projects. We also put some nets up and managed to catch 12 birds of 7 species.

Blackbird - 1 (0)
Song Thrush - 1 (0) a recently fledged juvenile that had obviosly had a difficulty time.
The Thrush's tail showing several growth/fault bars.
Dunnock - 3 (1)
Chaffinch - 1 (1)
Redpoll - 3 (0) the first caught since March.
All the Redpoll were female.
House Sparrow - 0 (1)
Californian Quail - 1 (0) this was encourged into a net by Rachel after I had failed miserably with a pair earlier.
The Quail was a chubby female.

Rachel with her prize.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Botanical Gardens Tuesday 12 Nov - a few birds

On Tuesday morning Luke and I put up a couple of nets in the NZ section of the Christchurch Botanical Gardens. This was in the hope of catching some of the newly fledged Bellbirds that were feeding in a Tree Fuchsia. Luke who is the curator of this section has been keeping an eye on them since they fledged a week or so ago.

We were only partly successful in our mission catching 1 of the youngsters. We also recaptured the bird presumed to be their father who was caught and banded a year ago in exactly the same spot. We also caught 3 birds as bycatch 1 each of Blackbird, Greenfinch and Dunnock.
Luke with the old boy,

He had the bright red eye of an adult.

The youngster, a female.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Halswell Quarry Thu 7 Nov. - only a few birds.

We had a session at the Quarry this morning and although conditions were good birds were scarce. We caught a total of 17  all new except for 1 House Sparrow recap.
Species caught were - 1 Silvereye, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Song Thrush, 3 Blackbirds and 9 House Sparrow + the recap.
Two of the Blackbirds were caught together, they were possibly Mother on the right with son on left.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Halswell Quarry Thu 24 Oct - a frustrating morning.

We had a session at the Quarry this morning or, rather we tried to. The forecast was bad but the day dawned with reasonable conditions. I was expecting a small turn out of banders with Phil and Andrew plus Jan assisting but unfortunately Phil was involved in an accident when a guy went through a compulsory stop and "T Boned" him. Fortunately no one was hurt and Phil's vehicle was not badly damaged but he had a lot of paper work to do. He finally got to the Quarry about 10.

We put a smaller number of nets up than usual and were catching some birds. Then the wind got up and conditions became marginal. When it started to rain the decision was made to take the nets down By the time we had achieved this it was hosing down.

We ended up with a meagre total of 14 birds of 6 species with 12 new and 2 recaps. Blackbird 2 + 1 recap, Silvereye 1 + 1 recap 3 greenfinch, 4 House Sparrows and 1 each of Bellbird and Song Thrush.
The Bellbird with a firm grasp of Andrew's finger.
Andrew reading the Blackbird recap's band.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Moorhill Rd - Mostly Yellow birds

I spent a couple of hours down at Bridget's this afternoon. Not a lot of birds and almost all Yellowhammers which is pretty normal for this site. Caught 13 new and made 2 recaptures. Other birds were 3 Dunnock, 1 Chaffinch and 1 Song Thrush. One of the recaps was banded here 4 days ago only a distance of a couple of km's but good to get some movement. The other was banded 19 June 2018 the first banding day at this site.
The older Yellowhammer recap.

The Song Thrush enjoying a bit of finger.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Queenstown - a couple of more sessions.

Since the last post I have had a couple more banding sessions. Not a lot of birds caught but some interesting ones, especially some of the recaps.

On Tuesday I put nets up along a newly cut track that our son, the owner of the property, had made along the gully/stream on the western side amongst old Willow and Hawthorn trees. I had scattered grass seed on the track when we arrived down and birds were feeding on the seed. This was the first time I had banded there. I caught 24 birds of 9 species with 15 new and 9 recaps.
Species caught were -
Blackbird - 1 (1)
Song Thrush - 1 (0) The bird had a twisted leg which appeared to have been dislocated at some time.
The crooked leg.
House Sparrow - 2 (3)
Yellowhammer - 5 (0) the chief seed thieves.
Goldfinch - 4 (0)
Chaffinch - 0 (1)
Greenfinch - 1 (0)
Dunnock - 0 (3) inclding the oldest Dunnock recap.
Tui - 1 (1) The recap was the oldest recap for a day and still is the oldest female.
The oldest Tui for a day.


This morning I had a couple of nets up at the same site as Sunday's session. Using the same site so soon usually results in a reduced catch which was the case. Caught 12 birds with 8 new and 4 recaptures.
Blackbird - 0 (2)
Dunnock - 1 (0)
House Sparrow - 3 (0)
Chaffinch - 2 (0)
Greenfinch - 3 (0)
Magpie (Aust) - 0 (1) the bird banded a couple of months ago and the first recapture. Also caught her mate but as I have run out of H bands had to let him go unbanded.
Tui - 0 (1) banded May 2016, and is now the oldest Tui recap. This was its first recapture. Has it been away or just net wary?
The "Old Bird"