Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Queenstown - A new species for the site

I have been back here for a week or so but didn't do any banding for the first few days due to very welcome rain, then some windy days. I have now managed to get some banding in over the last 3 days. On Monday I put a 6m net up at the stream to see if birds were still coming after the rain. I had to furl the net after about half an hour as I couldn't cope with the numbers. Caught 33 birds, almost all Redpolls.
On Tuesday I put a double 12 m rig up at our neighbours next to some elder bushes that are laden with berries. Not a big catch with 17 birds but at least a bit of variety. Yesterday, Wednesday, I went back to the stream and caught another 32 birds with again the majority being Redpolls. However one of the Fantails that have been avoiding the nets over the last few weeks made a mistake and was caught. The first one banded down here and the first South Is. Fantail that I have banded for about 25 years.

Totals for the three days were -
Blackbird - 1 (0)
Dunnock - 4 (0)
House Sparrow - 2 (2)
Chaffinch - 3 (2) one of the recaps was banded in the first week of banding down here and is now the oldest recap.
The old Chaffinch - but still probably only a young bird.
Greenfinch - 2 (0)
Goldfinch - 1 (0)
Silvereye - 3 (0)
Starling - 2 (0)
Starlings have almost finished their moult and have now got their spotted winter garb.
Fantail - 1 (0) Back in the Spring there appeared to be only a pair of Fantail on the property but they have bred well and there is now a large number of young birds about.
Redpoll - 54 (5) one of new birds was a very pale coloured juvenile with well above average wing and weight. There is a theory that a few Mealy/Arctic Redpolls were introduced with the original Lesser perhaps this bird caries some of their genes?
The pale Redpoll - a poor photo, (I was a bit rushed at the time)

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