Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Houghton Bay Wednesday 30 Sept - a few birds

Mary (scribe), Kate and I spent a couple of hours at the Houghton Bay stream this afternoon.Birds were surprisingly hard to catch managing only 12, all new. However there was at least a bit of variety with 7 species. Birds were 1 each of Blackbird, House Sparrow, Greenfinch and Grey Warbler, 2 each of Chaffinch and Tui (including the first juvenile of the spring) and 4 Silvereye.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Queenstown - The final Tally

We start on our journey northward home in the morning so banding here is finished for now. Ended up banding 308 birds of 12 species which is far above my expectations. Also made 55 recaptures, but of course they were all recently banded birds. I don't think there is any other banding going on in this area. We have had brilliant weather in contrast to the poor sods in Wellington. Another advantage of this site is the magnificent scenery, a view of the Remarkables to the south and Coronet Peak in the north.
Coronet Peak with a fresh coating of icing sugar 

The highest peak in the Remarkables.

Final totals were - (recaps in brackets) from top bird to the smallest number.
Silvereye - 127 (37)
House Sparrow - 74 (4)
Chaffinch - 49 (6)
Blackbird - 16 (2)
Dunnock - 13 (4)
Song Thrush - 11 (1) this is more than double the number that I have previously caught in a whole year.
Yellowhammer - 8 (1)
Goldfinch - 4
Starling - 2
Tui - 2 -  actually caught 3 but could only band the 2 females as I hadn't brought any YP bands for the big male.
The first Tui caught
Greenfinch - 1
Bellbird - 1 finally caught one this morning.
And the first Bellbird

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Queentown - an update

With good weather and not too many chores I have managed to get some banding in most days. Catches varied between 8 and 50. The lower days were when I attempted to catch some of the Bellbirds that inhabit scrubby gullies at the side of the property.  Unfortunately, no Bellbirds and very little else. So far I have banded 169 birds of 9 species and made 18 recaptures.

Total birds caught are - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 13 (1)
Song Thrush - 8
Starling - 2
The first Starling caught
Dunnock - 8 (2)
Chaffinch - 30 (2) Males outnumber females 2 to 1 - 20 M 10 F
Goldfinch - 4 -
House Sparrow 50 (2) Also more males than females 32 M 18 F
Yellowhammer - 4 (1)
Silvereye - 50 (10) The Silvereyes down here appear to have longer wings than those in Wellington.
One of the Silvereye was moulting head feathers.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Queenstown - a start

 I have had a couple of part days of banding down here near Queenstown, with more success than I had expected. Yesterday Sat 12th I caught 31 birds of 6 species and today 20 birds of 5 species with a couple of recaps as well, only 1 day after being banded but they still qualify as recaptures.
The combined totals are -
Blackbird - 2
Song Thrush - 3
The first bird caught was this Song Thrush

House Sparrow - 24 (1)
Chaffinch - 13 (1)
Of the 13 Chaffinch caught 9 were males
Goldfinch - 2
Dunnock - 2
Yellowhammer - 2
Both the Yellowhammers were brilliant adult males, no wonder some people mistake them for Yellowheads.
Silvereye - 4

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Houghton Bay Saturday 5 Sept - a pathetic catch

We had a session at the Houghton Bay stream this afternoon. After recent rain I hadn't expected to catch many birds but the catch was below my meagre expectations. We caught  a total of 3 birds, in fact, we had more birds bounce than we got in to the hand. There was 1 new Greenfinch, 1 new Tui and a recap Blackbird.

One of the reasons we had a session when expectations were so low was that I am going to be away for the next 3 weeks or so. I will be spending most of this time near Queenstown where I am hoping to set up a banding site to see if there are any differences between birds in Central Otago and Wellington, especially with some of the introduced  species. If I am successful I will do a post.
The potential banding site today - looks cold.