Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Monday, 15 May 2017

Queenstown - Birds amidst the Apples

Had a banding session yesterday (Sunday 14th) at the neighbour's apple orchard. Mark the owner leaves the orchard with minimal pruning and no spraying. He then picks enough apples for his use and leaves the rest for "the birds". And the birds love him for it.

I was joined by Rachel who drove over from Lake Hawea for the day in order to get experience to assist her in upgrading her banding permit.

The day started later than planned as the ice and grit on the Crown Range, which Rachel has to traverse to get here, slowed her drive. Far better to have a slow and safe trip than not arrive. The next little hiccup was half a dozen sheep trying to go through rather than around a net. A net full of leaves and sticks but no major damage and the Bellbird that was in the net survived remarkable well. It was the first bird of the day.
Rachel with the first bird of the day - a recap Bellbird that survived the rampage of the Ewes.
The apple orchard is in the background.

We ended the day with a respectable tally of 58 birds of 8 species with 47 new and 11 recaptures.

Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Dunnock - 1 (10) the recap was banded Feb last year, caught in the same net.
Chaffinch - 6 (0)
Rachel banding one of the Chaffinch.
Goldfinch - 2 (0)
One of the Goldfinch - Photo Rachel Hufton
Yellowhammer - 1 (0) the first caught at this particular site.
A photo of a Pototographer photographing her first Yellowhammer
Photo Rachel Hufton
Starling - 1 (1)
Silvereye - 29 (2) A surprisingly low recapture rate.
House Sparrow - 4 (6) One of the recaps was banded 601 days ago and for a few minutes was the oldest of any species caught here and then the next bird had been banded the day before so at 602 days is now the record holder.
Bellbird - 3 (1) The recap at 422 days is the oldest for the species. All birds were Male following the usual trend
A Bellbird having his picture taken.

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