Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Zoo Stream Sat 31 Oct - A surprisingly good catch

I put some nets up this afternoon at the stream over the fence from the Zoo. After recent rain I hadn't expected to catch much but as I am going to be away for the next 3 weeks or so thought I would give it a go. Was surprised to catch 39 birds of 8 species with 32 new and 7 recaps.

Species caught were - (Recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 3 (1)
Greenfinch - 7 (2) the 2 recaps were recently banded birds but were both foreigners, 1 banded at here Hornsey Rd  and the other at the Houghton Bay stream.
Chaffinch - 7 (0) all except 1 were male.
Goldfinch - 10 (2) the oldest recap was banded as a juvenile in Jan last year.
Starling - 1 (0)
Yellowhammer - 1 (0)
Eastern Rosella - 1 (0)
The Starling, Yellowhammer and Rosella were each only the second of their species to be caught at this particular net site in over 10 years of banding there.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Houghton Bay Saturday 17 Oct - More Silvereyes.

We had a session at the Houghton Bay stream this morning and it was in many ways a similar catch to yesterday except no Tui and a lot more Silvereye. There was a very good turn out of people with a  number of experienced banders along with some with lesser experience. We caught 49 birds of 6 species with 40 new and 9 recaptures.

Most of the team - the 3 guys in the back right are busy watching a Fantail avoid a net. It went over, under and around, in fact just about did everything but go in.

Birds caught were -
Greenfinch 6 (1)
Goldfinch - 1 (0)
Chaffinch - 3 (0)
Blackbird - 5 (2) this continued the trend of catching more BB's at stream sites in the AM than PM.
Two male Blackbirds showing differences in breeding condition.
Silvereye - 23 (2) as is typical of this site, a low recapture rate. Not sure where the over 3500 we have banded in the last 7 years have gone.
Grey Warbler - 3 (4) in contrast to Silvereye a very good recapture rate, 2 were banded last year and 1 in 2012 - which for a Grey Warbler is a pretty good age.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Zoo Stream Friday 16 Oct - a few more birds

George, Otis, Victor and I had a reasonable session at the little stream over the fence from the Zoo this morning. We caught a total of 32 birds of 8 species with 25 new and 7 recaps. All the recaps had been banded over the last couple of years.
George, Victor and Otis with a trio of birds.
Birds caught were -
Blackbird - 7 (2) interesting that 9 BB's were caught as against a 0 total at an afternoon session last weekend. I think this is typical of this species, coming to water in the AM.
Chaffinch - 4 (0)
Goldfinch - 1 (0)
Greenfinch - 6 (2)
Otis and Victor checking on the sex of 2 Greenfinch

Male on left - female on right.
House Sparrow - 1 (0)
Silvereye - 3 (3)
Grey Warbler - 2 (0)
Tui - 3 (0)
We are planning a session at the Houghton Bay stream tomorrow morning and it will be interesting to compare the catches.

It is very unlikely that there will be a regular session in the Zoo grounds for several months. They are making changes to their Health & Safety policy that will have an impact on us and we will need to work through how to induct people etc. As there will probably be a new leader for the group in the near future it is preferable to wait for that decision before implementing the new Health & Safety policy.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Zoo Stream Sunday 11 Oct - A few birds

This afternoon Kate, Ross and I, along with Kate's friend Alex had a session at the little stream over the fence from the Zoo. Although we didn't catch a lot of birds I was reasonable pleased with the numbers for this time of the year. We caught 20 birds of 6 species with 16 new and 4 recaps.
Chaffinch - 5 (0)
Greenfinch -  5 (1)
Goldfinch - 1 (2)
Starling - 1 (0) This year there have been very few Starling caught.  This is the first at or near the Zoo and we have only caught a couple at other sites.
Tui - 4 (0)
Grey Warbler - 0 (1) This bird was the highlight of the afternoon. It was banded 21 April 2012, 1268 days ago. Although this is not old for many species it is for a Grey Warbler and this bird is the third oldest we have caught in nearly 20 years.
Kate and Alex with the old G W. Kate doesn't look half pleased having just read the band No.

The bird had the bright red eye of an adult male.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Island Bay Friday 9 October - a steady morning

Annette, Johannes and I had a reasonably successful mornings banding at Island Bay this morning. We had good banding weather for the first couple of hours then the Northerly wind picked up but it was surprisingly cold, especially early. We caught 57 birds of 5 species with 42 new and 15 recaps.

Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 7 (3) oldest was banded June 2012
Dunnock - 2 (1)
House Sparrow - 31 (9) oldest was banded April 2012
Male Sparrows are currently looking very handsome as breeding approaches.
Grey Warbler - 1
Tui - 1 (2)
Johannes looking very pleased with the first Tui he has banded
The new Tui was aged as an adult(3+) by the size of the "notch" in the 3rd from the outside primary feather, P3.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

R I P Bridie

My friend and neighbour Bridie past away on Monday after a short illness. Bridie was a keen bird observer and fed the local birds in her garden with all sorts of delicacies. I have been banding at her place for close to 15 years and although this last year numbers have been low and the sessions have been more of a social visit I will miss this contact.