Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Friday, 17 May 2013

Houghton Bay 17 May and other bits & bobs

With rain forecast to start around lunch time I hoped to get a couple of hours banding in at the Houghton Bay stream this morning. The rain was a bit late so I managed a bit longer than 2 hours and although not a big catch there was still a steady flow of birds.  Caught a total of 34 of 6 species with 27 new and 7 recaps.

Species caught were -
Chaffinch - 3 (0)
Greenfinch - 6 (1) the recap was banded in Feb this year.
House Sparrow - 2 (0)
Silvereye - 10 (5) the oldest recap was banded at the Zoo in Aug 10, was recaptured at my place 2 days later and has now made it to Houghton Bay.
The first 2 Silvereyes caught were cuddled up together in the net.  I thought they might have been a pair but the were banded years apart so were probably just friends.

Fantail - 1 (0) the first bird caught and although there were a lot about they made a bit of a mockery of my attempts to catch them.
Grey Warbler - 5 (1) the recap was banded in April 11 and although not our oldest probably makes it into the top half dozen or so.

Colour Banded Tui

I recently received a list of Ralph's Tui sightings at his place in Roseneath. Between Aug 07 and Oct 09 he and Mary colour banded 58 Tui and many continue to be seen regularly. All but 3 have been seen at least a month after banding, 37 were last seen between 30 and 1000 days, another 13 between 1000 and 2000 days and 1 has now made it past 2000 days which is very close to the maximum possible. In this last list there were 3 birds seen over 5 years since being banded.

Arapawa Island.

Ruth and I have just spent several days at an old homestead in a bay on Arapawa Is hence there has been no post or any banding for a while. We had an interesting time getting over there as a strong southerly wind blew up and the ferry was unable to dock at Picton.  So after many attempts it chugged back to Wellington in a rather rough sea but we managed to get back across the next day. It was interesting to see the changes in bird life since I first went there about 35 years ago when the area was a recently abandoned farm. There has been a huge increase in Bellbird numbers and they now appear to outnumber Tui. Tomtits have also re-colonised in the area and are now seen regularly.
Male S I or Yellow-breasted Tomtit

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