Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Hornsey Rd Tuesday 21 July - Silvereye roundup

I set the funnel trap here on Tuesday afternoon, I usually set it in the morning but had other commitments this morning. It didn't appear to make much difference as the total was similar to recent weeks. Caught 68 individuals with 5 new birds and 63 recaptures. The oldest was banded 2007 and it has been caught nearly every week recently.  For the next 2 oldest birds banded in 2009 it was the first recapture this year. For a number of other recaps it was also the first time this year, so there appears to have been some turn over of birds. Also caught were 2 new House Sparrows and 3 new Greenfinch and a recap.

I am off to Auckland for a week or so so it will be interesting to see what's around when I get back. I have left some food out which should hopefully keep them going.  

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Zoo Saturday 18 July - Rain affected play

On Saturday morning the weather looked doubtful with rain threatening and a brisk northerly blowing. However with a dire forecast for the next few days we decided to go ahead and get some nets up and see what happened. As it turned out the wind dropped and the rain held off so we had good banding conditions for a period. Unfortunately rain set in later in the morning and we took the nets down a good couple of hours earlier then usual.

Despite the weather we still caught 104 birds and had a good turn out of people.  Beside the more experienced banders there were a number of enthusiastic new folk.
A busy banding station

Little Rata getting his first closeup view of a Silvereye.
There were 6 species caught with 72 new and 32 recaptures. (Recaps are in brackets)
Blackbird - 1 (0)
Chaffinch - 2 (1)
Greenfinch - 21 (5) the oldest recap was banded July 2012
House Sparrow - 10 (2) the oldest banded May 2013
Yellowhammer - 4 (0) I thought I had a recap until I checked and found it had just been banded.
Silvereye - 34 (27) The oldest banded May 2007. This bird was also captured last month and at the session we held at the other end of the Zoo 3 weeks ago. Hopefully it will stick around a bit longer and make it into the 3000 days from banding club.

This club has only 1 Zoo Silvereye in it at the moment but 9 from other sites. The membership of the 3000 club is currently 4 Blackbird, 1 Chaffinch, 10 Silvereye, 6 Starling and 5 Tui.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Tue/Wed 14/15 July - heaps of Silvereye

Houghton Valley School Tue 14 July

We had a successful session in the bush gully next to the school on Tuesday afternoon. With the school holidays on we had a number of interested younger folk join us which was great.
Some of the "Team"
We caught 65 birds with 18 new and 47 recaps. As is usual at this site almost all were Silvereyes with 16 new and all 47 recaps. Interestingly, 7 of the recaps had been banded at the stream at the bottom of the Valley in Houghton Bay.  Many had not been recaptured before and this number is more than we usually recapture in a session at the stream. The oldest bird was banded June 2010 in our second session at the school and is our oldest bird recaptured at this site.
The only other birds caught were 1 Blackbird and a Chaffinch.

Hornsey Rd Wed 15 July.

I set the funnel traps here this morning and caught 77 birds. 5 new Greenfinch and 1 recap, all the others were Silvereyes with 16 new and 55 recaps. The oldest Silvereye was banded 2009 although  this bird was recaptured quite recently. Another was banded June 2010 and hadn't been recaptured for several years.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Island Bay Monday 13 July

Annette, Ros and I had a relatively quiet session at our Island Bay site this morning. Annette came for the first hour or so to assist with the nets and the first flush of birds (which didn't come), she then went off to do more interesting things like tracking down Robins.

We caught 43 birds of 6 species with 33 new and 10 recaps.
Blackbird - 5 (0)
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Chaffinch - 5 (0)
Several of the Chaffinch could be aged by the colour of their primary coverts (retained or moulted juvenile feathers).
This bird aged as a 1
House Sparrow - 17 (8) a very high rate of recaps with nearly a third of those caught being already banded.  The oldest recap was banded in 2011 and another in 2012.
Silvereye - 1 (1) the recap was banded here at Hornsey Rd a month ago so has moved suburbs.
Tui - 3 (0)

Bellbird Recap

I have received the details of the Bellbird we recaptured at the Karori Cemetery last Saturday. It was banded at the Cemetery by Matu (wearing his Zealandia hat) on 19 Sept 2012. So hadn't moved but still a good bird to have caught.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Karori Cemetery Sat. 11 July - An unexpected catch

A group of us braved a cold start to have a session at the Karori Cemetery this morning. We had a reasonable catch of 20 birds of 5 species, 18 new and 2 recaps. Six new Blackbird and a recently banded recap; a new Chaffinch; 9 new Silvereye and 2 new Tui. The other recap was a colour banded male Bellbird, I think this is the only Bellbird we have seen at the Cemetery this year and it was only seen as it flew into the net. I will have to wait for banding details but it was almost certainly banded at Zealandia. I will post banding details when they are received.
The bird in the hand

The indignity of having your weight taken.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Hornsey Rd Tue 7 July - Silvereye roundup

I set the funnel trap here this morning to check on the Silvereyes before the Southerly storm arrived. Caught 62 Silvereyes, only 6 were new birds and the rest recaps. The oldest bird was banded in 2007 with another from 08 and 1 from 09. With only the 6 new birds and most of (including the 3 oldies) having been banded or recaptured recently it appears that the population has been pretty stable for the last week or so. We will see what affect the storm has when I set the trap next week, especially if it is as bad as forecast.

I also set a separate trap that has been baited to attract Sparrows and Greenfinch. The Sparrows are too smart to get caught but I did catch 6 new Greenfinch and 2 recaps, 1 of which had been banded at the Zoo last month.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Houghton Valley School Sunday 5 July - Nearly did a ton

We had a session in the bush gully next to the Houghton Valley School on Sunday. It proved to be vary successful with 97 birds caught. As expected Silvereyes dominated but we did catch a few birds of other species. There were 65 new birds and 32 recaps.
Busy at the banding station - primitive but effective
Birds caught were -
Blackbird - 1 (0)
Chaffinch - 1 (0)
Greenfinch - 2 (1) the first of this species caught at this site. The recap was banded here at Hornsey Rd in 2013
House Sparrow - 5 (1) again this recap was banded at Hornsey Rd.
Dunnock - 1 (0)
Silvereye - 54 (30) most of the recaps were banded at the sessions over the last couple of weeks but there were some older birds. The oldest was also banded at Hornsey Rd in Aug 2010. There were also 2 from 2011. There were 3 that had been banded at the Houghton Bay stream, 1 on Mt Albert and 2 at Hornsey Rd.
Extracting birds under the watchful eye of interested locals

We were fortunate to be invited to afternoon tea by folk working in the community garden which adjoins the banding area. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hornsey Rd Wed 1 July - Silvereye Roundup

I again set the funnel trap here this morning to check on the Silvereye numbers. With the mild weather this week there has been a big drop from the record numbers of last week. Caught 66 individuals with 11 new birds and 55 recaps. Most of the recaps had been banded this year and there were no old birds, 4 banded in 2011 being the oldest.