Female Bellbird

Female Bellbird
Female Bellbird

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A quick look at 2013

Just back from a week in Dunedin so no banding and very little birding but did get a quick look at the Tomahawk Lagoon on the Otago Peninsula. Not a lot of birds but there were 4 White Heron in a group which is unusual, especially at this time of year when they all should be at Okarito breeding. Some of the birds appeared to be adults with plumes on their back.
The 4 White Herons, the most I have ever got in a frame at once.

There will be no banding here for the rest of the year as I am off to Auckland for the next week so I thought I would have a quick look at some of the stats for 2013.The overall totals will be tallied at the end of March when the banding year officially ends but I keep calender year tallies for several of our main sites.

Wellington Zoo

We caught 549 new birds and made 164 recaptures, this is about an average number for this site which includes birds caught over the fence at the small stream. Both Greenfinch & House Sparrows were up on the average with both Starlings and Blackbirds well down.

Hornsey R

Including birds caught at Bridie's 543 new birds caught and 732 recaps. Greenfinch numbers were well up with the highest ever tally of 134 new & 85 recaps. Most of the recaps were birds either banded this year or over the last couple with very few older birds caught. Silvereye numbers were also well above average with most caught during July when there appeared to be a big increase in numbers and we caught our longest distance control with a bird from Kaikoura.

Island Bay

A another site which had about an average number of birds with 683 new and 104 recaptures. House Sparrows numbers were well up on average with both Starlings and Silvereyes well down. Silvereye numbers were lower than other sites possibly due to not having a session in July when numbers peaked.

Houghton Bay

Numbers were down from previous years with 584 new and 109 recaps. This site was badly affected by the southerly gales in early winter (this also affected the site at the Houghton Valley School where no banding was possible due to fallen trees). Silvereye and House Sparrow numbers were down but with 48 new and 14 recaptures Grey Warbler were twice as many as any previous year.

Not likely to do a lot of birding in Auckland but do hope to catch a Tui or two (or similar) 
This type of Tui is best processed with sausages near a barbie.
I hope you all have a great festive season and we will commence banding in the new year.

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