Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Queenstown - the last banding for a while

We are now back in Christchurch after a successful week down South. I managed to get a net up on Thursday morning and caught 40 birds, 22 new and 18 recaps. With only 4 species there was very little variety. The catch rate was slow with mostly Silvereye recaptures until I went to start taking the net down and then there appeared to be a new flock of mostly unbanded birds arrive. Four new Chaffinch and 10 new Silvereye in the last net clearance. The most new birds at the one time for the trip.

The totals for the day were -
Chaffinch - 5 (1)
Dunnock - 0 (1)
House Sparrow - 2 (3)
Silvereye - 15 (13)

A group from Christchurch City Council and Birds NZ are looking at starting up a banding group here in Christchurch. Initially this will consist of a small number of people training for their L2 & L3 permits. I will report on progress on this Blog.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Cromwell & Queenstown Tuesday & Wednesday

I have had a couple of banding sessions in the last couple of days. One was very much experimental the other more of the normal kind.

Ripponvale Rd, Cromwell. Tuesday 19 Sept.

On Tuesday morning I went to the orchard just out of Cromwell where a banded Silvereye was caught by a cat a few weeks ago. The idea was to check if there were more banded birds there. If one had made it it is likely that others have as well as Silvereyes usualy travel in flocks over the winter months. Excess apples have been left on the trees mainly to feed birds and there were 100's of Silvereye, probably nearer to 1000's. Unfortunatly I wasn't very successfull in catching them.

The tally for the morning was a pitifull 13 birds, 8 Silvereyes, a couple of Blackbird and 1 each of Dunnock, Greenfinch and House Sparrow. The low catch was probably due to bright sun on the nets and  the fact that the orchard is surounded cheery orchards with varing amounts of nets still in place. Cosequently the birds appeared to be very net savvy doing abrupt turns instead of going into the mist nets.

Littles Rd, Queenstown. Wednesday 20 Sept.

This morning I put a couple of nets up here and while not spectacular catching was steady with a total of 38 birds caught. With 9 species there was a good variety. There were 18 new and 20 recaps. The recaps included a couple of older birds.

Species caught were -

Chaffinch - 2 (3) One of the recaps was banded on 12 Sept 2015, the first day of banding here so is now the oldest bird of any species recaptured and the first over 2 years.
Dunnock - 0 (1)
House Sparrow - 8 (4)
All except one of the Sparrows were male.
Yellowhammer - 2 (2)

The two Yellowhammer recaps.
Blackbird - 2 (1)
Song Thrush - 0 (1) a bird banded 18 Sept 2015 so the oldest for the species and the second over 2 years.
The old Thrush
Silvereye 3 (6)
Tui - 1 (1)
Bellbird - 0 (1)

On a different note congratulations to Ross up in Wellington for achieving his Level 3 Banding Permit. Well done Ross.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Queenstown Monday 18 Sept - mostly silver

I put nets up again this morning with marginal weather conditions. Periods of light rain fortunately didn't get heavy enough to stop the catching. Around lunch time the wind strengthened and the nets had to come down. The catching had been steady all morning consisting mostly of Silvereyes. The wind turned out to be a bit of a blessing in discuise as at midafternoon I checked the neighbours hen house and found that the hens had been let out for some fresh fodder but some time after they had been let out the wind had blown the door closed trapping a large number of birds inside. With a hand net I was able to catch a number - most were Chaffinches with a few House Sparrows and a couple of Silvereye recaps.

The combined catch for the day was 69 birds with 39 new and 30 recaptures. But with only 4 species there wasn't much variety. Species caught were =
House Sparrow - 5 (3)
Chaffinch - 11 (7) a recap had been banded 20 Sept 2015 and is now the oldest recap for the species and joint oldest for any species.
Most of the Chaffinch were male.
Silvereye - 23 (19) The old bird from yeterday was caught again now of course a day older so it is now joint record holder with the Chaffinch.
Bellbird -  (1)

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Queenstown 17 Sept. A rain affected day.

We are back down here for a week or so, came down on Friday. Spent Saturday doing chores and planned to do some banding today. Unfortunatly just as I was about to put nets up this morning rain set in and it was 11am before I could make a start. Only got about an hour and a half in before it again started to rain.

Managed to catch 23 birds of 8 species so at least there was some variety.  There were 20 new birds and 3 recaptures. Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)

Blackbird - 1 (0)
Dunnock - 0 (1)
Greenfinch - 2 (1) only the 2nd Greenfinch caught down here.
Chaffinch - 3 (0)
House Sparrow - 2 (0)
Male Sparrows have now got the breeding finary with balck bib and bill.
Silvereye - 10 (1) the recap was banded 20 Sept 2015 about a week after I started banding here and at 728 days is now the oldest bird of any species. Another 3 days and it would have made 2 years.
Tui - 1 (0)
Bellbird - 1 (0) the bird was a female so helps to even up the sex ratio a little.
The Bellbird an adult female.

I hope to get a bit more banding in during the week but the forecast is not looking very suitable at this stage - they have been known to be wrong.