We had a great day’s banding at the Zoo on Sunday and despite a bad forecast we had near perfect conditions. It was calm with low cloud for most of the morning then the sun came out which showed up some of the nets that weren’t in the shade but it sure made things pleasant and no one was complaining. There was a good turn out with a very good mixture of newer people with some very experienced banders, as well as some keen younger folk.
|A busy banding station with Mary the scribe giving instructions|
|Three of the many Silvereyes about to get their freedom.|
In all we caught 149 birds of 9 species with 77 new and a whopping 72 recaptures and amongst the recaps were several older birds with one bordering on the ancient. For the last hour or so probably about a third of the birds caught had already been processed so the total number of bird handlings was much higher.
Species caught were – (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird – 3 (2) one of the recaps banded in Sept 09 and the other last Jan as a newly fledged Juv.
|Bashful Annette with the older Blackbird and old nosy looking on.|
Dunnock – 1 (1)
Chaffinch – 0 (1)
Goldfinch – 1 (0) we put up a net where a flock had been feeding on Pohutukawa seed earlier in the week but only caught the 1, then just as we were starting to pack up a flock of 20 or so started to feed next to the banding station. Very tempting but it had already been a long day.
Greenfinch – 6 (5) numbers this year appear to be continuing the decline from last year. In years prior to that we were catching 30-40 a day at this time of the year. 3 of the 5 recaps were banded at other sites.
House Sparrow – 13 (9) the oldest recap was banded in March 09.
Starling – 1 (1) the recap was banded in April 08.
|The Recap Starling starting to show it's age.|
Silvereye – 51 (53) most of the recaps were banded in the last few years but there were 1 from 08, 1 from 07, 2 from 06 and the old girl banded in July 03 and is now at least in her 10th year. At 3276 days it is now our oldest live recapture of a bird of any species at the Zoo. We have a recovery of a dead Blackbird at 3299 days so if we catch this bird next month it will hold the record outright although this is not likely as it has only been recaptured once before in Nov 04. One of the recaps was banded at
and another banded at the Zoo has been recaptured at
and has now made the return journey. Houghton Bay
|A Silvereye poses for the camera while Melody looks for the next one.|
Tui – 1 (0)
The day had a hint of sadness to it as Monica announced that she will be leaving this fair city in the next few weeks to join her man in Sydney Town. Although this wasn’t entirely unexpected I had hoped she would be around a bit longer, we sure wish her well and hope to see her back at some stage.
|Monica banding perhaps her last NZ Silvereye|
|Admiring the little fella before saying goodbye.|