Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Queenstown - A Quail or 2 at last

We are now back in Christchurch after our short visit to Queenstown where I managed to get a bit more banding in. On Tuesday had nets up for the morning and had a reasonable catch but had to let the majority go! I found that the new string of BP bands that I had in my gear was non existent and I had no bands to band Sparrows with so had to let about 20 go. Amongst the new birds banded was the first Californian Quail banded at this site. I actually managed to flush a pair into a net but by the time I had clambered over a fence the male had made its escape.

Yesterday (Wednesday), I had nets up reasonably early (well not really early but early for me) and caught a Blackbird and another Quail before rain set in and play was abandoned. I actually managed to flush 4 Quail (2 pair) into a net but by the time I made the 20 m dash only 1 was left.

Birds caught for the 2 days were -
Blackbird - 3 (0)
Chaffinch - 3 (1) the recap was banded on the first day of banding here and is now the oldest bird of any species recaptured here, beating the one caught on Monday by 1 day.
Not the old bird but a very young one.
Dunnock - 0 (1)
House Sparrow - 0 (3) about 20, mostly recently fledged were released unbanded.
Silvereye - 1 (1)
Tui - 1 (0)

The Tui, a male with its hackles up

My attempt to give it the "finger"
Californian Quail - 2 (0) both females and the first for the site. In the 3 days I actually had 7 Quail fly into the nets but all but these two escaped.

I should be back there in a couple of weeks for an extended period so hopefully will get more banding in then.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Queenstown - back for few days

We are back down here for a few days, mostly to do chores like mowing lawns etc. I hope to get a couple of banding session in as well. We arrived Saturday evening and Sunday was a non banding day with a very strong wind all day so got the lawns mown. Today wasn't a lot better although the wind didn't get strong till late morning so put some nets up for a while. Managed to catch a very modest total of 14 birds of 6 species with 9 new and 5 recaps.

Blackbird - 2 (2)
Dunnock - 0 (1)
Chaffinch - 0 (2) the first caught was a female the first Chaffinch banded here and it is now the oldest bird of any species. The second one was a male banded a couple of days later and it is the second oldest.
Being eyeballed by the old boy
Greenfinch - 4 (0) included was the first juvenile Greenfinch for the year.
The juvenile Greenfinch with its speckly belly
Redpoll - 1 (0) thought I might have caught more as there appears to be a number about.

The Redpoll was a well marked male
House Sparrow - 2 (0)

There are a number of Califorian Quail about after an absence of 6 months or so. (since I recieved a variance to the banding permit allowing me to band them.) They are proving hard to catch as they scuttle under the net, rocket over the net or just fly around it. Had one go in but it came straight out before I could get to it.

Also had a flyover of a Falcon, always good to see.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Queenstown - the last birds here for a while

In the last few days since the last post I have had mixed success with my banding. Two reasonable days and one not so good.  Over that period I caught 40 birds of 10 species with 29 new and 11 recaptures. The new bird number was boosted by 9 pullus (nestlings) being banded.

Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 8 (1) inluded in the total were 3 pullus and the first juveniles for the spring.

The first juvenile Blackbird for the year.
Song Thrush - 1 (0)
House Sparrow - 8 (1)
Starling - 0 (1) this recap was the bird banded a couple of days ago.
Goldfinch - 1 (0)
The new Goldfinch sexed as a male by head, wing colour and weight.
Chaffinch - 2 (1)
Dunnock - 6 (0) all pullus from 2 broods each of 3.
Yellowhammer 3 (0) I set a net this morning in an attempt to catch some of 20 or so feeding on grasseed spread about the yard, but only caught 1. Amazing how they can avoid a net.
Tui - 0 (4)
An angry looking male Tui having just been caught for the third time.
Bellbird - 0 (3) all males.

We head back to Christchurch in the morning (Saturday) so there will be no banding for a while. Hope to get back in 2 or 3 weeks.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Queenstown - a touch of yellow

After a couple of days with no banding I have managed to get nets up over the last three. Rather surprisingly the dominant species was Yellowhamer with a sprinkling of some of the other usual suspects. The combined total for the 3 days was 45 birds of 8 species with 30 new and 15 recaptures.

Blackbird - 2 (4) included in the recaps was the oldest recaptured here.
House Sparrow - 9 (1)
Dunnock - 1 (2)
Yellowhamer - 15 (3) 1 of the recaps was banded back in January the others recently.
One of the new Yellowhammers
Goldfinch - 0 (1) this recap was the first  of the species banded here,
Starling - 1 (0)
Tui - 1 (2)
One of the Tui recaps, an adult male.
Bellbird - 1 (2) the new bird was a female, the first caught for a while and helps to address the sex imbalance a little.
The new female Bellbird