Female Bellbird

Female Bellbird
Female Bellbird

Friday, 29 August 2014

Tiritiri Matangi Thursday 28 August - Rifleman

I have been in Auckland for the last week so haven't been doing any banding around Wellington. However I was fortunate to go out to Tiritiri Matangi Is yesterday with John, a UK trained and very experienced bander (ringer). We joined up with Simon and his team who were doing a survey of Rifleman and catching and colour banding juveniles.  Rifleman have been introduced onto the Island over the last few years and are slowly starting to colonise various parts of the bush. John is the current chairman of the Tiritiri Matangi Is Trust and Simon is a former chairman.

I accompanied John and his wife Kay for a period to survey a particular patch of bush. With the aid of an audio lure were able to locate several birds. A mist net was then set up and with a speaker on each side an attempt was made to lure birds down and into the net. During the period I was there 3 were caught, 2 of which were already colour banded but the other was an unbanded male. We had been hoping for an unbanded female which had been seen in the area so this male was a pleasant surprise.

One of the already colour banded birds

The new bird getting its first bit of bling

A nice bit of colour added

Wing measurement taken before release

There were still at least 2 unbanded birds in the area but unfortunately I had to leave to catch the ferry. Hopefully John and Kay were successful after I departed.

On my way back to the ferry I saw the biggest Weta I have ever seen, it was humongous.
The Giant Weta, sorry about the photo quality but it gives an idea of size.

I will be back in Welly early next week so hopefully will be able to get some banding done after that.

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