Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Christchurch - Halswell Quarry, a few birds

We had another session at the Halswell Quarry on Friday morning. Only caught 5 birds but with all being different species at least we had variety. There was one each of Song Thrush, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Dunnock and Silvereye.
Phil with the first bird of the day and his first Song Thrush.
Eleanor looking very serious as she prepares to band the Dunnock

Kenny concentrating on banding the Greenfinch

This morning, (Sunday) a few of us experimented with trying to catch some of the Welcome Swallows that are nesting in various buildings. Things started off very well with one caught within a few minutes but after that we didn't get it quite right so no further birds caught. We will try again, probably when they have large chicks.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Queenstown - a few more birds

I have done a bit more bird banding/catching in the last couple of days, but I caught more than I banded. On Wednesday I had a round up in the neigbour's henhouse,and caught 15 individuals. All were recaptures, and except for 2 Dunnocks, all were Chaffinch and all had been either banded or recaptured in the henhouse in the last week. Amongst  the catch were 2 Chaffinch, 1 male, 1 female banded on the first day banding here so at the moment they are joint record holders.
The old female giving me a farewell peck.

This morning I had a couple of nets up and although not a big catch at least there was a little bit of variety.Species caught were =
Blackbird - 3 (2)
House Sparrow - 1 (0)
Chaffinch - 4 (1)
Greenfinch - 1 (0)
Yellowhammer - 4 (0)
One of the Yellowhammers.

As well, I checked a few bodies (birds) on the road and 1 was banded, a Blackbird banded as a juvenile last November, so it had a relatively short life.
Fortunately, although the band was a bit munted, it was still readable.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Queenstown - some Blackbirds

I have had nets up for a few hours on the last couple of mornings. On both days banding was cutailed due to a strong southerly wind getting up so the catch was a bit low. The combined total was -
Blackbird - 6 (5) included was the first juvenile for the year.
The first juvenile of any species caught this year
Song Thrush - 1 (1)
Chaffinch - 1 (1) the recap was banded on the first day of banding here and is now the oldest bird of any species recaptured. On the first day 8 Chaffinch were banded and 3 of these have been recaptured in the last few days, over 2 years later.
The current oldest bird.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Wellington Zoo 14th October

What could be better than to spend a sunny Wellington morning banding behind the exhibits at the Zoo?  Catching sufficient birds for everyone to play with of course.
A bird in the hand
A total count of 48 meant that the 7 Level 1s had good session and even the 3 trainers could get hands on occasionally.

Species caught were (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird 1
Chaffinch  3 (1)
Dunnock  2
Greenfinch  18 (7)
House Sparrow  19 (6)
Silvereye  (1)

 For the first time in a while the fat we put out pre-feeding is being taken.
Kate and George comparing Greenfinch wings and nail art

Happy banders

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Queenstown - Chooks & Chaffinchs

We arrived back to Littles Road yesterday (Sat 14th) for a week or so. While checking the property I noticed a number of birds in the neighbours henhouse. So instead of doing chores I used a hand net to have a round up, almost all birds caught were Chaffinch. There were House Sparrows also but they all managed to make their escape. Twelve Chaffinch, 4 new and 8 recaps and a solitary recap Dunnock were caught. Most of the recaps had been banded recently with  a number originaly caught in the henhouse, but one, a female Chaffinch was banded 12 Sept 2015 the first day banding here. It was at 763 days the oldest bird recaptured at this site.

Today with very simular results I had 2 catching sessions. Today's total was 4 new and 11 recap Chaffinch and 2 recap Dunnock, 1 this morning and 1 this afternoon. Again most of the recaps were recently banded, including several from yesterday. However one male Chaffinch was banded on the first day banding here so at 764 days is now the oldest bird of any species recaptured here. This bird was the second Chaffinch banded here and this is its first recapture.
By far the majority of thr Chaffinch were adult males.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Christchurch - a slow start

On Thursday morning a small group of banders gathered at The Halswell Quarry Reserve to start our Christchurch banding group. This is primarily to train people keen to improve their banding skills and get their Level 2 & hopefully Level 3 permits.

It was a relatively quiet start with only 7 birds banded, this was partly due to a slow start with erecting the nets. Not only was the area unfamiliar but also the gear which had not been used for several years. The catch included 3 Blackbird, 2 Silvereye and 1 each of Greenfinch and Grey Warbler.
Our scribe enjoyed a considerable amount of quiet time.

Kenny looking very pleased with his first Grey Warbler

Sunday, 1 October 2017

A couple of recoveries - Wellington & Queenstown

I have recently received notification of a couple of recoveries from the Banding Office.
Wellington - Greenfinch

A greenfinch recovered when it was regurgitated by a cat along with other prey/food items in Island Bay. It was banded at the Wellington Zoo on 9 Jan 2015. It was recovered  985 days from banding at a distance of about 3k.

Queenstown - Yellowhammer

A Yellowhammer recovered freshly dead on a hay bale at Littles Rd about 1.5k from where it was banded on 6 Jan 2017. It had a fresh wound on one side of its head and appeared to have been attacked, I suspect by a Magpie.