Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Queenstown - Last banding for a while.

It started raining this morning about 6 o'clock and carried on intermittently for most of the day so not much chance of any banding. Yesterday however I did manage to catch a few birds. In the morning I put nets up in the house area and in the afternoon I gave the stream a try. Although not a huge number of birds caught I ended up with 30 for the day 15 AM & 15 PM.

Combined list of species was -
Chaffinch - 5 (0)
Redpoll - 6 (0)
Yellowhammer - 1 (1) So far this year I have caught 7 Yellowhammers, 4 new and 3 recaps. Contrast this with 174 Redpolls all new birds (no recaps) and almost all young birds. I suspect that they are moving through going from somewhere to somewhere else, I would love to know from where to where?
Blackbird - 2 (0)
All the new Blackbirds caught this trip have been young males
Dunnock - 3 (1)
House Sparrow - 2 (3)
Silvereye - 2 (0)
Bellbird - 2 (1) the recap was actually one of the new birds, it was caught and banded in the morning and then recaptured in the afternoon at the stream a distance of about 500m

The twice caught Bellbird, a juvenile female
Last but not least another new Fantail, this makes it 2 this week compared to only 1 in the previous18 months.
The new Fantail, aged as a 1st year bird by a couple o retained juvinile coverts.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Queenstown - a few more birds

I managed to catch a few birds today. This morning I put a net up next to a pear tree where a couple of Blackbirds were feeding on fallen fruit. Managed to catch 2, a new one and a recap, also caught 1 Starling, 2 Silvereyes, and a couple of Goldfinch.
Although the Goldfinch were caught together and were both juveniles they were probably from different clutches.
Also banded a Fantail that made the mistake of flying into the garage.

This afternoon I put a couple of nets up at the stream at the bottom of the property without a great deal of confidence of catching much. I was pleasantly surprised to catch 15 birds of 6 species all new.
Silvereye - 6
Dunnock - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Goldfinch - 1
Redpoll - 4
And the surprise of the day 2 Bellbird. The first caught at this site, an adult female and a juvenile male.
The female Bellbird

The juv male Bellbird half way through its first moult and looking very scruffy

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Queenstown - A few birds with a couple of good recaps.

We are back down in Queenstown for a brief visit, arrived Monday afternoon. Put some nets up this morning and managed to catch 15 birds of 5 species with 11 new and 4 recaps. Although this is a rather modest total it is far better than the last time I had nets up at this particular site when I caught none.  I persist with using it as it is nice and handy so I can multi task, combining banding with mowing lawns etc.

Species caught were - (Recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 1 (0)
Dunnock - 2 (2) One of the recaps was banded back in Nov 2015 the other last Nov as a Pulus so good to know that it survived the fledging process.
Last time I saw this bird ir was just getting its primary feathers.
House Sparrow - 1 (1)
Silvereye - 7 (0)
Yellowhammer - 0 (1) a bird banded Nov 2015 and at 493 days from banding is now the oldest YH recaptured

The Yellowhammer was about half way through its moult

We will be here for about a week so weather permitting hope to get a bit more banding in before departing.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Back in Christchurch

We drove back to Christchurch last week so there will be no banding for a few weeks until we go back down to Queenstown at the end of the month.

I had one last short session at the stream before leaving, only caught 9 birds, 7 new Redpolls 1 new Goldfinch and a recap Yellowhammer.
The Goldfinch, an adult female having the indignity of having its weight taken.

The recap Yellowhammer also an adult female that was banded several months ago up near the house.

During the 10 days or so of the trip I caught 104 birds, 79 new of 8 species and 25 recaps of 4 species. House Sparrows and Redpolls dominated the catch with a sprinkling of other Finches and some Dunnocks. Interestingly no larger birds like Blackbird, Song Thrush or Starling were caught, there were a few about but none found the nets.