Female Bellbird

Female Bellbird
Female Bellbird

Friday, 23 February 2018

Queenstown - Sparrows Galor

We drove down from Christchurch on Tuesday, it was raining when we left and continued for the whole trip and all day Wednesday. Yesterday we woke up to clear skies and Snow on the mountains, this is not supposed to happen in Feb.
To the north Coronet Peak with fresh February snow

And to the south the Remarkables also with fresh snow
I have had a couple of banding sessions of sorts since arriving, On Thursday I caught a few of the birds in the neighbours hen house. Not a lot, a few House Sparrows both new and recaps and 4 Chaffinch recaps. Today (Friday 23 Feb) I had a couple of nets up and banded 34 new birds and made 8 recaptures. By far the majority were juvenile House Sparrows with 28 new and 4 recaps. I probably released as many as I banded as I had to fit in lawn mowing and other chores. Sparrows are still fledging young and there appears to be 100,s about. I doubt if most of these late birds will survive this next winter.
Other birds caught were 4 new and 1 recap Chaffinch, 1 new Greenfinch, 1 recap Bellbird and Dunnock. And 1 new and a recap Tui, the recap was banded as a juvenile a couple of months ago and I was surprised to find it in moult, I catch very few moulting Tui and was not sure if juveniles moulted.
All the new Chaffinch were juveniles

The new Tui was also a juvenile

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