Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Friday, 28 August 2015

Zoo Stream Friday 28 Aug - a few birds

I went to the little stream over the fence from the Zoo this afternoon for an hour or so. The main purpose was to check the area and put up some guys for use over the summer. Managed to get a couple of nets up for a while and caught 9 birds of 4 species with 7 new and a couple of recaps.
Blackbird - 0 (1) a bird recently banded in the Zoo.
Chaffinch - 4 (1) the recap was banded at the Prince of Wales Park in March 2013.
Goldfinch - 2 (0)
Tui - 1 (0)

Hornsey Rd

Yesterday I set traps, here in the morning and down the road at Bridie's in the afternoon. Didn't catch much with a recap Blackbird banded in 2010 the only significant bird. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Houghton Bay Sunday 23 August

Andrea, George, Brian, Dave and I had a very quiet afternoon at the Houghton Bay stream this afternoon. Only caught 15 birds, all new, but with 6  species we at least had a bit of variety. Birds caught were - 4 Chaffinch, 4 Silvereye, 3 House Sparrows, 2 Tui and 1 each of Greenfinch and Grey Warbler.

Last year on 17 August we caught 81 birds, so a big drop this year.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Zoo Saturday 15 August - a successful day

We had a surprisingly successful day at the Zoo on Saturday exceeding my expectations of 50-60 birds. We caught 96 of 7 species with 58 new and 38 recaptures. We had near perfect weather conditions with light winds and cloudy. There was a relatively small group of banders but with the majority being very experienced and a steady flow of birds the day went well.

Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 4 (1) the recap was banded July 2011
Song Thrush - 1 (0) the first caught at the Zoo this year
The first Song Thrush at the Zoo this year
Dunnock - 1 (1)
Chaffinch - 4 (1) the recap banded Nov 2011
Greenfinch - 10 (10) a good proportion of recaps with 4 banded here at Hornsey Rd.
House Sparrow - 13 (13) again a surprisingly high recapture rate. The oldest was banded in March 2010 and is the oldest House Sparrow we have caught for a year.
Silvereye - 26 (12) more than I had expected as most SE's appear to have left my place.
This Silvereye had a poor eye ring around its right eye, the other side was normal
Not sure if it was delayed moult or perhaps a parasite problem.

Several birds including Dunnock, Blackbird and this Silvereye showed signs of  developing brood patches.

Mallard - not a bandable bird but we caught a number. I had pre-fed a funnel trap with the hope of catching some net shy birds but when we arrived a Mallard duck with a dozen small ducklings were inside the unset trap. Managed to usher them out and set the trap. However although the duck couldn't get back in the ducklings did.


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Island Bay Wed 12 August - Mostly Sparrows

Ros, George and I had a relatively quiet time this morning at our Island Bay site. We caught 37 birds of 4 species  with 29 new and 8 recaps. As is usual at this site the catch was dominated by House Sparrows with 21 new and 4 recaps, we also caught 3 Chaffinch + 1 recap, 4 Blackbird + 1 recap and 1 new Dunnock and 2 recaps. Although the conditions were good, with cloud cover and only a light breeze, we had a large number of birds bounce off the nets. I suspect that one of the possible reasons was that the breeze was from the south causing the net pockets to develop on the northern side of the nets which was the direction  most birds were coming from.

Two birds, a Blackbird and a Dunnock appeared to be developing a brood patch which hopefully means that spring is just around the corner.
Blackbird developing brood patch

Dunnock with developing brood patch

As is usual at this site we were treated to a scrummy morning tea which was most appreciated.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Houghton Valley School - Few birds but 1 good one

Emma, Kate, Ross and I had a session in the bush gully next to the school this afternoon. Conditions were atrocious with a strong cold southerly blowing up the valley and the occasional shower. Fortunately the nets were sheltered from the worst of it.

We caught a very low total of 12 birds of 4 species with 6 new and 6 recaps. As usual most were Silvereye with 4 new and 5 recaps, the oldest recap was banded July 2011. There was one new Greenfinch and Grey Warbler and then the highlight of the day, a recap Dunnock. It was banded 29 July 2010 and was the first Dunnock banded at this site. It is at 1837 days from banding now the oldest Dunnock we have recaptured at any site, beating the previous record, a Zoo bird, by 6 months.
Kate with "her" old bird

The band, although showing some wear is still in reasonable condition

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Hornsey Rd Sunday 2 August - An old bird

I set the funnel trap here this morning, mainly to check on the Silvereyes. Caught a total of 66 with 29 new and 37 recaps. With a big increase in new birds and a drop in birds from previous years there appears to have been some movement within the local population.  Other birds caught were 2 new Blackbirds, 1 new Chaffinch and a Greenfinch recap from 2013.

The big highlight of the day was a Silvereye that had been banded on 11 Feb 2005. This bird is now at 3824 days the oldest Silvereye that we have caught at any site. It passed the old record of 3817 days which was held by a bird last caught in November 2007. This bird is also now the second oldest bird of any species only surpassed by a Blackbird recovered at the Zoo after 4021 days.

One of the Silvereye was growing the outer 3 primaries on its right wing. As the feathers on the left wing were all full length it might have had a close encounter of the cat kind or something similar.

Another bird had a large vascular lump under its left wing, although this looked very uncomfortable the bird could still fly OK.