Female Bellbird

Female Bellbird
Female Bellbird

Friday, 29 April 2016

Queenstown - the last 10 days or so

I have had a few sessions here over the last 10 days or so. There was much variation in both length and success. Also had a session at the neighbours which was, with only 4 birds caught, a bit pathetic. Will have another go there in the next week or so but will use a different net configuration.

The most interesting event was not banding a bird, but a near miss. Yesterday I put a couple of nets up in net lanes I had cut on the bank of a stream that borders one side of the property. These were amongst a mixture of introduced trees mostly Hawthorn, Silver Birch and Willow. While extracting a Greenfinch a small flock of Brown Creeper moved along feeding on the other side of the net. Three of them eyeballed me through the net from about 2 feet away then moved on. I left the nets up but they didn't oblige, --- perhaps one day.

There has been an apparent increase in bird numbers recently especially of Blackbirds which are feeding on Hawthorn berries, and of course, mostly feeding at the top out of reach of my poles/nets.

Since the last post I have caught 53 birds of 9 species with 35 new and 18 recaptures.
Blackbird - 9 (2) most caught yesterday under the Hawthorns.
House Sparrow - 12 (10)
Dunnock - 2 (3) 1 of the recaps was the first Dunnock banded down here
Silvereye - 0 (1) this was the first Silvereye banded down here, caught in the same net as the Dunnock and both were probably also banded at this net site.
Greenfinch - 4 (0) also caught under the Hawthorn and obviously feeding on berries/seeds.
Greenfinch showing evidence of having munched on Hawthorn berries, probably to feed on the seeds.
Redpoll - 3 (0)
Chaffinch - 2 (0)
Tui - 1 (0)
Bellbird - 2 (2)  The ratio of Male to Female banded is now 14 to 1

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