Female Bellbird

Female Bellbird
Female Bellbird

Monday, 24 June 2013

At last some Banding - 24 June

After a week of almost constant rain and several days of gale force winds I was able to do some banding today.

This morning I had a session at Witham St in Island Bay. This site is on the other side of the valley from our usual one, and although less productive can still provide some reasonable catches. Caught 28 birds of 5 species, 1 Blackbird, 2 Chaffinch, 5 Greenfinch, 6 Sparrows and 11 new Silvereyes and 3 recaps.

With an earlier start than usual I had a chance to watch the setting of the moon, which according to the boffins on TV, is on one of its closest orbits to the earth.

Silvereyes started feeding here at my place last week with numbers building up rapidly during the bad weather.  This is about a month later than most years probably due to the mild Autumn. This afternoon I took a break from doing chores and set the funnel trap and got a big surprise with the number of birds. In just over an hour 64 Silvereyes were caught with 28 new and 36 recaptures. The oldest recap was banded in Aug 2007.
A surprising number of older birds have not been captured for some time and this is especially true of most of the 14 birds that were banded in 2011. There were 2 birds captured which had been banded in 2007 - for 1 it was the first recapture and the other hadn't been caught since 2009. This is the biggest catch of Silvereyes here in a day for several years and usually the numbers don't peak until July. Several birds were caught that had been banded at other sites including 2 from the Zoo and 4 from Houghton Bay.

It will be interesting to see if a similar pattern is found on Saturday at the Zoo. That is providing of course that the weather gods are kind and we get to have a session.

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