Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Queenstown Wed 27 Dec - Chaffinch & Redpoll

I had two totally different banding sessions yesterday. In the morning I caught Chaffinch in the neighbour's hen house and in the afternoon I set a couple of nets up at the stream at the bottom of the property.

AM - Hen House

Caught 17 Chaffinch, 4 new and 13 recaps. There were also about 40, mostly juvenile House Sparrows but I avoided catching them as I will probably run out of BP bands if I was to band them all. Of the recaps 3, AP 18306, 08, 09 were originally banded on the first day of banding here so at 837 days from banding they are the oldest birds of any species caught here. They beat the Blackbird caught on Tuesday by a day.

PM - Stream

The afternoon catch was a total contrast, 52 birds of 11 species with 47 new and just 4 recaptures. The 11 species in one session is I think the highest number caught down here although several species were only represented by 1 or 2 individuals.
Species caught were - (Recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 1 (0)
Song Thrush - 1 (0) a newly fledged juv.
Redpoll 16 (0) surprised not to recapture any of the 400 or so birds banded at this site over the last few years.
Several of the male Redpols are very well coloured while others have only a reddish wash.

One of the Redpolls was actually an Orange Poll
Goldfinch - 2 (0)
Chaffinch - 1 (0)
Greenfinch - 1 (0)
Yellowhammer - 2 (0)
Both Yellowhammers were females
Dunnock - 1 (1)
House Sparrow - 0 (2)
Silvereye - 2 (0) One of the birds appeared to have had a broken tarsus that had healed well but slightly out of alignment.
The broken leg now healed
Tui 0 (1) the same bird as recaptured on Tuesday about 500m away.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Queenstow - Heaps of Sparrows

We arrived back down to Littles Road a few days ago and plan to stay a few weeks. Now that I have got some of the chores done and Christmas celebrated I was able to get a couple of nets up this morning. Caught 52 birds of 6 species with 47 new and 5 recaps. Most of the birds were House Sparrows with 44 new and 1 recap, most of them were recently fledged juveniles with just 6 or so being older birds.
Other birds caught were 1 Dunnock, 1 new and 1 recap Bellbird, 1 new and 1 recap Tui, and 1 recap each of Starling and Blackbird. The Blackbird was banded on the first day of banding here, so is now the oldest bird of any species recaptured here.
The Starling is starting to fade out of its breeding plumage.

The new Tui was a male in its second year (aged as a 2)

The Bellbird recap was a female originaly banded as a 2 (in second year) and has well  worn primaries. 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Christchurch, Halswell Quarry - 14 Dec.

We had another session at the Halswell Quarry this morning. After a very slow start, only 1 H Sparrow in the first hour or so, then it picked up a bit. We finished up catching 21 birds of 6 species with 19 new and 2 recaps.
The Three Amigos busy at a net. Eleanor, Kenny & Phil.

Blackbird 1, Goldfinch 3, Chaffinch 1, Starling 1, House Sparrow 13 and 1 recap and we recaptured the same Welcome Swallow, we keep trying to catch its mate but we always catch the one that's banded. Perhaps one bird takes the day shift on the nest and the other the nights?
Two of the Goldfinch, probably a pair

Phil and Friend, actually Ron's mate Tess an ex wildlife dog.

Monday, 11 December 2017

NZ Banding Office Newsletter

Below is a link to the  latest NZ Banding Office Newsletter, well worth a read.
The fifth quarterly Banding Newsletter, BirDBanD, is available for download, featuring young banders and old snippets, news and updates of bird banding around New Zealand. Please feel free to circulate this widely… This is also an open invitation to submit your own banding banter for inclusion in the next newsletter. Previous newsletters can be downloaded from the bird banding webpages of Department of Conservation and BirdsNZ.

Kind regards,

Michelle and Sandy

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Christchurch, Halswell Quarry - 7 Dec

A group of us, a scribe, 3 trainees and a trainer had a session at the Halswell Quarry this morning. We had a good flow of birds which kept us busy but still with time for some in depth training. A total of 24 birds of 7 species were caught with 22 new and a couple of recaps.

Caught were - 1 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Silvereye, 12 House Sparrow, 2 Greenfinch, 6 Chaffinch with 1 recap and a Welcome Swallow recap.
One of the Greenfinch getting its bling.

We also had a Primary School arrive to have their sports day. Many of the children showed a great interest in our activities but the flow of birds dried up possibly due to their activities.
Eleanor with an attentive audience

A Chaffinch about to be released.
And its gone!