Colour Banded Tui

Colour Banded Tui
C Banded Tui © Peter Reese

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Halswell Quarry 10 Jan - a good morning

We had a session at the Halswell Quarry this morning and it was a successful time. We caught 41 birds of 8 species with 37 new and 4 recaps. I think 8 species in a day is a record for the Quarry. There was a good turnout of banders and now that they are getting more experienced I can sit back and take it a bit easier. We were also joined by Andre's family including his two children. I love having enthusiastic younger folk about.
The Team all busy.
Andre showing off his prowess to an adoring audience. 

Birds caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 2 (0)
Starling - 1 (0) a newly fledged juvenile.
Dunnock - 1 (0)
House Sparrow - 24 (2) our biggest catch of Sparrows at this site.
Mieke about to release a Sparrow.

Dax showing his mother the finer points of a Sparrow.
Greenfinch - 3 (0)
Yellowhammer - 3 (1) we don't catch a lot here and this is our biggest catch and our first recap which was the first one caught at the Quarry, just under a year ago. One bird was a young juvenile and with a bit of imagination could have been a Cirl Bunting of which there is a population about the Quarry.
An adult Yellowhammer left with the juvenile on the right.
Silvereye - 0 (1) a far cry from the 30+ we catch during the winter but still a good one being the oldest Silvereye recap we have caught.
Fantail - 3 (0) also the most we have caught in a day and included a Black phase bird.
Phil was the proud bander of the Black Fantail.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Canada Goose Banding

Several of our banding group were involved in banding Canada Geese on a small lake here in Christchurch this week. The study is to try and follow their movement about the city especially in the vicinity of the airport where they pose a potential hazard.

At this time of the year Geese and most other waterfowl go through a complete wing moult and have limited flying ability. The birds were gently herded into catching pens from where they were caught for processing.

A total of 66 were banded. All had numbered metal leg bands placed with 38 having additional colour bands in unique combinations added. Several also had coloured neck collars placed on and 4 had GPS trackers as well. The trackers are already providing great information.

In theory these birds could travel anywhere in the South Island so keep an eye out for them and please report any sightings to the Banding Office.
Some of the Geese in a holding pen - Photo Kenny Rose
A bird getting its bling

One getting its necklace. Photo Kenny Rose

A hive of activity - Photo R Chambers

And off they go for a swim. - Photo Kenny Rose

Friday, 4 January 2019

Queenstown - the last few days

We are now back in Christchurch after a week or so in Queenstown. I managed to get a couple of sessions in before we left.

I spent a couple of hours at the Stream at the bottom of the property one afternoon. The main purpose was to organize a new net line and clear the old ones. There has been a lot change in the last few months with snow bringing down a tree and a lot of branches etc. Managed to catch 4 bandable birds, a Greenfinch, a Goldfinch, a Chaffinch and a House Sparrow. The big surprise was to get a Grey Teal in a net, a first for me in 40+ years. Unfortunately unable to band it as my permit does not include Waterfowl.
The Goldfinch, judged to be a 2 M

The surprise bird a Grey Teal.

The other session was up near the house and was reasonably successful with 41 birds of 5 species with 32 new and 9 recaps.

Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 1 (0)
Song Thrush - 1 (0)
Dunnock - 3 (0) All juveniles, probably from the same brood.
Chaffinch - 0 (2) included was the oldest Chaffinch recaptured at this site.
House Sparrow - 27 (7) as well I let a lot of newly fledged birds go unbanded, especially when I got busy or had a call of "Coffee" from the house.
I was surprised to find a number of Juvenile Sparrows had already started primary moult.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Queenstown - not a lot of birds

We came down several days ago and I have had a few banding attemps with vey rmixed results. The daily totals have ranged from 2 to 15.  Birds caught were - (recaps in brackets)

Blackbird - 3 (1) all the new birds were juviniles, probably from the same clutch.
Song Thrush - 1 (0)
Chaffinch - 2 (1)
Dunnock - 1 (1) The recap  was banded 1065 days ago and is now the oldest Dunnock recaptured here.
House Sparrow - 15 (2)
Starling - 1 (0)
Yellowhammer - 0 (1)  At 787 days from banding it is the oldest Yellowhammer recaptured.

The Yellowhammer not realy old  but 2+ years older than when it was banded.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

NZ Bird Banding Newsletter.


The 8th edition of the NZ Banding Office newsletter is out. It is well worth a look, if you click on the link below you should be able to accesses it.


In the 8th edition of BirDBanD, banding banter includes:

·      There must be an app for that

·      “bobos blancos” as liaison officers

·      Testing their mettle: Rates of wear in metal bands

·      That’s a wrap: The art (or science) of band making

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Halswell Quarry - plenty of birds but few caught.

We had another quiet morning at the Quarry today (Sat 1 Jan) catching only 10 birds. The total was augmented by the banding of 3 Welcome Swallow nestlings.

Greenfinch made up the bulk of the catch with 6 new and 2 recaps. The only others caught were 1 each of Silvereye and House Sparrow. There are plenty of birds about but with the wet spring there is heaps of food about and birds don't have to risk getting near the nets.

The Welcome Swallow were in the same nest as those banded back in September and when extracting them from the nest it was found that one from the previous brood hadn't survived and was now incorporated into the base of the nest.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Halswell Quarry, Thu 15 Nov - very quiet.

We had a very quiet session at the Quarry this morning. Fewer people than usual but still far from busy. Caught a mere 10 birds of 5 species with 7 new and 3 recaps. House Sparrow 5 new and 1 recap, Song Thrush 1 new, Blackbird 1 new and recaps of Greenfinch and Welcome Swallow.

The Welcome Swallow was probably the most interesting, it was caught by putting a short net across the entrance  to the toilet where there is a nest. It was originally caught using the same method at the same place just over a year ago. So we now know it has returned for at least 2 springs.
The Greenfinch recap about to get its freedom.

The Blackbird was aged as a 2nd year bird by its retained juvenile primaries. 
I suspect it might have been a banker in another life as its left a good deposit on Elenore's top