Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Queenstown - a few more birds

I  put up a couple of nets this morning in a differnt location from usual. The master plan was to catch one of the Kingfisher that are in the area, as with a lot of my plans this failed. One perched on a power line and looked at the net but then flew the other way. I did however catch a few birds, some of which were interesting. Caught a total of 9 birds  of 7 species, 6 new and 3 recaps so there was a bit of variety.
Blackbird - 1 (1) the new bird was newly fledge and the recap was the oldest Blackbird caught down here, 799 days after being banded, 3 days short of the maximum.
Blackbird was a very brown individual and the finger was abled to be saved.
Song Thrush - 2 (0) one of the birds had its lower right leg missing but was still within the normal weight range.
The stump that's left of the right leg.
Greenfinch - 1 (0)
Redpoll - 1 (0)
Dunnock - 0 (1) at 791 days from banding it is the oldest Dunnock recaptured
Silvereye - 1 (0)
Tui - 0 (1) the first Tui banded down here so is at 708 days the oldest for the species.
The old "Girl"

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Queenstown - three banding sessions

We came south on Saturday, and  since then I have had 3 separate banding sessions. Although a similar number of birds were caught at each session the composition was very different.

Sunday afternoon. Put a couple of nets up at the stream at the bottom of the property, primarily to check out guy ropes and clear any winter debris. Caught 16 birds of 6 species, all except 1 were new.
Caught were 5 Greenfinch, 5 Redpoll, 2 Blackbirds, 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Fantail and a solitary House Sparrow recap.

Monday. Caught birds that were inside the neighbours hen house. Managed a total of 17 but only 4 species all except 2 were recaptures and with 1 new and 14 recaps almost all were Chaffinch. Two of the recaps had been banded 12 Sept 2015 the first day banding here and are now at 800 days the oldest birds recaptured of any species.
The Old Boy

The Old Girl
The by catch consisted of 1 new House Sparrow and a recap Dunnock.

This Morning (Tuesday) Put a couple of nets up near the house where I had been doing a bit of feeding. Caught 17 birds of 7 species, 8 new and 9 recaps.
Blackbird - 2 (3) 2 of the recaps were banded in the first week of banding here and at 797 days are the oldest for the species.
One of the Blackbird recaps had the scruffiest tail I think I have ever seen
Song Thrush - 1 (0) a juvenile.
The juvenile Song Thrush had very well defined "Thorns" on its wing.
House Sparrow - 2 (0)
Chaffinch - 1 (2)
Dunnock - 1 (2)
Redpoll - 1 (0)
Bellbird - 0 (2) 1 Male and 1 female
Male Bellbird

Female Bellbird

Friday, 17 November 2017

A couple of House Sparrow recoveries.

After arriving home from the banding session yesterday I received two recovery reports from the Banding Office.

The first was of a House Sparrow found sick and very uncoordinated under a Rhododendron bush at the Karori Mall in Wellington. The woman finding it took it home and after some TLC it recovered and was released. The bird was banded and she reported the number to the Banding Office. It had been banded on the other side of the City in Puru Cr. in Kilbirnie on 17 May 2010. At 2734 days from banding it is the second oldest House Sparrow we have recorded. The oldest is one found dead at 2773 days. This is also the furthest we have had a House Sparrow travel even if it took an awful long time to get there.

There are two main possibilities for the bird's condition. There have been reports of a poisoning operation at the Karori Mall to control Sparrow numbers and it might have been a victim. Or it might have been sipping nectar from the rhododendron and been poisoned.

The second recovery report was far less spectacular. It was of a House Sparrow found dead about 2 km from its banding site in Littles Rd near Queenstown, only one year since banding.

Christchurch, Halswell Quarry - a better day

We had a session at the Quarry yesterday morning, 16 Nov. and had a reasonable catch of 20 birds. Although this is not a huge number it was with a steady flow of birds ideal for training purposes. All birds were new except for a Starling recaptured after being banded last week.

There were 11 House Sparrows, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Chaffinch, 1 + the recap Starling, 1 Bellbird and 3 Fantail. The fantail were 3 nestlings found in a nest next to one of the nets where we had been watching a pair of adults feeding around the net all morning. As is usual with Fantail they skillfully avoided any temptation to get caught.

Eleanor with her first Starling and our first juvenile.

The Bellbird, an adult male was blind it its right eye.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Christchurch, Halswell Quarry - another quiet day.

We had another quiet session at the Halswell Quarry this morning. We set up at a different area and although the catch was small it has as a Real Estate Agent would say "Heaps of Potential." The total caught was 7, 6 new and our first recapture there. Birds caught were -
2 House Sparrows, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Starling and 1 new and 1 recap Welcome Swallow. While attempting to catch its mate we actually caught the recap twice.
Kenny with his and our, first Starling.

The first House Sparrow, a handsome male being banded.

The two Goldfinch were caught together and are probably a pair, female on left, male on right.
We will try again next week and with a few adjustments to the setup hope to do better.