Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Queenstown - trip roundup

We have been back in Christchurch for a couple of days. I managed to get a bit of banding in before we left. Since the last post have caught 30 birds: 8 species with 25 new and 5 recaptures.

Birds caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 1 (1) the recap was banded 15 Sept 15.
Dunnock - 0 (1)
House Sparrow - 1 (2)
Chaffinch - 2 (1) the recap was banded on the first day of banding down here, 12 Sept 15 and is now the oldest recapture of any species here.
Yellowhammer - 1 (1) the recap was a pleasant surprise, didn't make the year but at 313 days still the oldest of the species by quite a margin.

The oldest Yellowhammer, a female.
Silvereye - 9 (1)
Starling - 2 (0)
Bellbird - 0 (1)

As mentioned above I started banding here 12 Sept 2015 and was hoping I might catch the first bird that was over over a year from banding. With a window of about 10 days I had doubts if I would achieve this but ended up catching 7 birds that were over a year from their being banded.
Chaffinch M at 376 & 368 days, also a female just under the year at 364 days.
Blackbird M at 374 days and an F at 368 days.
Silvereye at 372 days
Dunnock at 371 days.
House Sparrow just made the year at 365 days.
Hopefully this time next year I can claim birds 2 years after banding.

Not likely to be back down there again for several weeks so probably no banding for a while.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Queenstown - A few more birds

I have had nets up a number of times since the last post. Have put them up at differant locations in the hope of getting a bit of variety, with some sucess. Caught 41 birds of 9 species with 26 new and 15 recaptures.

Birds caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 4 (0)
Song Thrush - 4 (0) the first new birds since about June.
The first new Song Thrush for a while
Dunnock - 2 (1)
House Sparrow - 6 (6)
Yellowhammer - 2 (0) the first since May

The first Yellowhammer since May. A splended male.
Redpoll - 1 (0) a bit of a surprise, thought it was a Silvereye untill I went to extract it. First since May and calling it a Red Poll a bit of a stretch of the imagination.
The "Redpoll" without a poll
Silvereye - 2 (2)
Tui - 3 (4)
A young female Tui

A bigger Male
Bellbird 2 (2) including the first new female for some time.
The new Female Bellbird

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Queenstown - a slow start

We drove down from Christchurch last Thursday and we will be down here for about a week. Both Ruth and I have had a lurgy for the last week or so, thought we would shake it off pretty quickly but unfortunately its taking a bit longer than anticipated.

On Friday morning I went to the neighbours hoping to catch some Bellbirds etc that feed on a couple of patches of Gravillia. It was a bit of a disastrous morning as I had major problems getting the nets up and then the wind increased and it started to rain, so packed up and came back and crawled back to bed. Total birds caught Zero.

On Saturday morning it wasn't much better, did get a double rigged net up next to the other neighbours hen house. Then a rope broke and the nets ended up full of rubish. Did catch a few birds, ending up with a grand total of 7.

This morning put up the douple rigged net up at a differant site and had no major dramas. Caught a steady flow of birds for a couple of hours then numbers dropped off.

Over the period caught a total of 22 birds of 6 species with 10 new and 12 recaptures. (Recaps in brackets)

Dunnock - 1 (3) All caught on Saturday with one of the recaps being the 2nd one banded here, it was banded on the first day of banding at this site 12 Sept 15 and for a day was the oldest bird recaptured here
Blackbird - 0 (1) another bird banded in the first few days, at 368 days the oldest Blackbird
Chaffinch - 1 (2) one of the recaps was banded on the same day as the Blackbird and is now the oldest Chaffinch caught.
The old Chaffinch a very splended male.
House Sparrow - 3 (0)
Silvereye - 3 (6) amongst the recaps was the first Silvereye banded and it being caught a day later took over the record by a day from the Dunnock caught yesterday
Bellbird - 1 (1)
The new Bellbird, anther male was aged as a first year bird by eye colour not having yet developed the bright red eye of an adult

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Queenstown - No banding but some white stuff

I plan to go back to Queenstown at the end of next week for a bit of banding etc. At the moment our son is in residence and sent a couple of photos of the area this morning.
The view out of the window this morning.
The main house from the north

Friday, 2 September 2016

Queenstown - a few more birds

I had couple of nets up again this morning but had to take them down around midday when the wind got up and rain threatened. Had reasonable success catching 30 birds of 5 species made up of 25 new and 5 recaps.

Birds caught were -
Silvereye 16 - (5)
Goldfinch - 2 They were caught together and presumable a pair. A first year female and an older male.

The female on left, male on right
House Sparrow - 3
Dunnock - 2
Bellbird - 2 The first new Bellbirds since June and both males. Have now banded 28 male and only 5 female Bellbird at this site, hopefully there are more females out there somewhere?

The first new Bellbird caught for several months

We have to head back up to Christchurch tomorrow but hope to get back down in a couple of weeks for a bit more banding.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Back in Queenstown

We arrived back in Queenstown a couple of days ago. Just a quick trip to check up on a couple of things. I put up a couple of nets yesterday but didn't catch many birds. While waiting for non existing birds I sorted through stored apples and threw the retects out onto the lawn. This proved to be a good move as Silvereyes soon found them so with nets up nearby this morning I had a better catch.

The combined totals for both days was 32 birds of 6 species with 21 new and 11 recaps.
Totals were - (recaps in brackets)
Silvereyes - 14 (5) the oldest recap was banded 18 Sept 2015 just a few days after I started banding at this site and it is now the oldest bird recaptured here.
Dunnock - 0 (1)
Blackbird - 3 (2) one of the new females had a partly developed brood patch. Looks like Spring is on the way.
This is the bird with the brood patch. I had tried to get a photo of the BP but didnt have enough hands to manage it

Another female Blackbird, there is a surprising amount of variation amongst females of this species.
House Sparrow - 3 (1)
Bellbird - 0 (1)
Tui - 0 (1)

While I was in Auckland I recieved a call from the Queenstown DOC office to say that a banded Tui had been found. It had been found stunned on the road at Arthurs Point presumibly after being hit by a car. It had then been taken to the Kiwi Birdlife Park for some TLC. This proved to be sucessful as it was released 3 days later having pu on a considerable amount of weight.

A bird seen but unfortunatly not captured was a Black Morph Fantail. The first I have seen down here.