Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Some More Banding Here and There

I have done a little bit of banding at a couple of sites in the last week; here at Hornsey Rd and at the Houghton Bay Stream.

Hornsey Rd

Set the funnel traps here on a couple of days catching mostly Greenfinch with 12 new and 13 recaps. Most of the recaps were recently banded birds with 1 from the Zoo, another was banded at Houghton Bay last Feb. Also caught was a new Chaffinch and 1 new and 2 recap House Sparrows. One of the Sparrows was banded in Island Bay which although not a big distance is one of our longest.

Also set the trap at Bridie's one afternoon but only caught a pair of Starlings. I am in the process of rejigging the trap to see if the catch can be increased there. The 10 year old Blackbird we call "White Eye" although not caught is still there, very much alive and looking healthy.

Houghton Bay

Had two short sessions at the Houghton Bay stream. Once in the morning and the other session in the afternoon. All birds caught were new, and it was a bit disappointing not to get any recaptures. Birds caught were - Blackbird 2(both AM), Chaffinch 4 (all PM), Greenfinch 1(AM), House Sparrow 3 (all PM), Grey Warbler 2 (1 each), Silvereye 7 (6 PM, 1 AM) and 4 Tui (all PM). Although only a small sample there appears to be a difference in what time of day species are caught.

We also received a Greenfinch recovery report of a Greenfinch banded at Houghton Bay and found dead in Roseneath. At over 5 km it meets the Banding Office criteria of a significant recovery.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Zoo Saturday 24 August - Very few birds

We had a session at the Zoo today with very poor results catching only 16 birds. Had a quiet first net round with 6 birds and from then on it got quieter and quieter. Finally gave up just after midday. Conditions were not ideal with a northerly wind and bright sun but the main reason for the poor catch would appear to be very few birds about, possibly caused by the recent mild weather causing birds to think of other things. There was a good turn out of people with a number of younger folk getting involved, and it was just a pity we didn't have more birds for them to handle.

Species caught were - (Recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 0 (1) a bird banded in July 2011
Greenfinch - 6 (3) all the recaps were banded here at Hornsey Rd, 2 recently and the other in Oct last year.
House Sparrow - 3 (0)
Song Thrush - 1 (0) with the nest that was being built last month now containing 4 eggs with a bird incubating hopefully we will be able to band another 4 birds in a week or so.
The Song Thrush nest with 4 eggs
The Song Thrush incubating - the same nest site as used by a Blackbird last year.

Starling - 1 (0)
Yellowhammer - 1 (0)
Kate with her first Yellowhammer

Silvereye - 0 (0) Except for the one in the photo below none were even seen and only a couple heard, a big change from the close to 100 for the last couple of months.
The only Silvereye of the day, a model made by Stanley

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A bit of Banding Here and There

Hornsey Rd

I set the funnel traps here this morning (Tue 20 Aug) and caught very few birds. Birds caught were 2 new House Sparrows, 2 new and 3 recap Greenfinch and 2 recap Blackbirds. One of the Greenfinch recaps was banded at the Zoo in Aug 2012. There appears to have been a drop off in Greenfinch numbers although I did not have the traps set for long, and there was a cat about which probably made the birds wary.

Houghton Bay

This afternoon I put nets up at the Houghton Bay stream. With the recent rain I did not expect to catch much and that was the case. At least with 6 species I had some variety, in fact, the first 6 birds caught were all different species. Ended up after about an hour and a half with a tally of 17; 14 new and 3 recaps.
Species caught were -
Blackbird - 1 (0)
Chaffinch - 1 (0)
Greenfinch - 2 (0)
Silvereye - 9 (2) one of the recaps was banded at the Zoo 3 weeks ago and 1 of the new birds was undergoing primary wing feather moult.
Fantail - 1 (0)
Tui - 0 (1) a bird banded as a newly fledged Juv in Jan 2012.

Te Papa Car Park Roost 

In the last week I had 2 attempts to catch birds going to roost near Te Papa with very limited success. Plenty of birds coming in but with the trees having increased in height they were mostly flying too high. In the 2 attempts caught 21 birds, all new; 14 Sparrows, 5 Greenfinch, 1 Yellowhammer and a Tui.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Hornsey Rd - More Greenfinchs

Usually I set the funnel traps in the morning but this morning was a bit on the wet side so I waited until it cleared and set them this afternoon. Caught 26 birds most being Greenfinch with 9 new and 13 recaps.  All the recaps had been banded over the last couple of months and included a further one from the Zoo. The other birds were 1 Blackbird recap, banded June 2011 and 2 new and 1 recap House Sparrow.The recap was banded Jan 2011 as a Juv.

No Silvereyes were caught or seen but if we get a spell of fine weather will check the Houghton Bay stream to see if there are many there.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Hornsey Rd - Greenfinch but no Silvereye

I have done some banding here in the last few days, both with the funnel traps and mist nets. Almost all the birds caught were Greenfinch with 44 new birds and 21 recaptures. Most of the recaps were banded recently including 2 from the last Zoo session. The oldest one recaptured was  a bird banded at Houghton Bay in Sept last year. The only other species caught were; 1 new House Sparrow and a new Blackbird and 1 recap. The new Blackbird had its right leg missing from above the knee but with a wing length of 129 mm and weight of 92 g it appears to be getting along fine. The recap was banded in Nov 2010.

There was a total lack of Silvereyes; they seem to have moved on completely. They have departed from here the first week in August for the last 2 years.

I sighted a colour banded Tui yesterday which was banded at the Zoo in June 2006 and at 2350 days from banding is now our oldest Tui either re-sighted or recaptured. We have had 1 bird recovered dead at an older age.