Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Queenstown - the last banding here for a while

I have had a couple of sessions since the last post. On Wednesday afternoon I put a net up at the Thurlby Domain amongst some very large old fruit trees. This area is a privatly owned old homestead with the original house ruins and the remnants of the garden and orchard. It is about 2.5k from my usual banding sites and I hope to get some indication of bird movement - or lack of.

I caught 27 birds of only 3 species all new. 22 Silvereyes, 1 House Sparrow and 4 Bellbirds. The bellbird were all male with 3 old birds and 1 juvenile, one of the old birds was I think the bigest I have caught with a wing of 96mm and weighed in at 37g.
The wing of an old bird - note the sharp spike on P7
The wing of the young bird - note the lack of the sharp spike.

This site I thnk has huge potential for banding over the next few months.

Yesterday, Friday 30th I put a couple of nets up at the stream with very limited success. Firstly I had trouble getting one of the nets up due to a tangle losing half of an hour ( I blame the person who last used the net - me!). I ended up with 12 birds but with 7 species at least there was some variety. Chaffinch 3, Redpoll 2, Goldfinch 1, Dunnock 1, Silvereye 2, House Sparrow 1, Bellbird 1. All were new.

The Redpols, both males were the first for some time.

The majotity of birds appear to have moved about 10m upstream from where I normally set the nets so I will try a new setup next time. Back to Christchurch in the morning, so no more banding here for a while.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Queenstown Mon 26 March - Bellbirds & Tui

I had nets up yesterday targeting Bellbird and Tui that were coming to sugar water feeders that I have had in position for several days. I was reasonably successful and also caught a few other species as well. Total of 30 birds of 6 species caught with 20 new and 10 recaps.
Dunnock - 1 (2)
House Sparrow - 11 (2)
Chaffinch - 1 (0)
Silvereye - 1 (0)
Tui - 3 (1) all were juveniles. The old ones have learnt to avoid nets.
One of the young male Tui
Bellbird - 3 (5) The biggest catch of Bellbird I have had and the most recaps in a day. A number of the recaps were recently banded juveniles. It's good to know they are still about and surviving.
A young male Bellbird
I had planned to have another day's banding today but at the moment it's raining steadily so it doesn't look hopeful.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Queenstown - sporadic banding 19/20 March

During the last couple of days I have operated 2 nets when the opportunity arose, furling them between sessions. I was surprised at the number of birds caught as the nets were positioned more for convenience than potential.
Caught 33 birds of 7 species with 24 new and 9 recaptures.
Blackbird - 1 (4) the best catch for a while.
Chaffinch - 6 (0)
Dunnock 1 (3) One of the recaps was banded 14 Sept 2015, the third day of banding here. At 918 days from banding it is now the oldest bird recaptured here.
House Sparrow - 2 (1)
Tui - 0 (1) a recently banded juvenile.
Bellbird - 1 (0) another recently fledged female which was a real bonus, last bird caught.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Queenstown - Some recent banding

 I have had several sessions since the last post. Had a small catch in the neighbour's hen house consisting mostly of House Sparrows. And in the last couple of days I have put nets up at a large pear tree that was attracting a variety of birds to ripe fruit. During this period I caught 54 birds of 8 species, 46 new and 8 recaptures.
Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 1 (1) There are surprisingly few Blackbirds about at the moment.
Starling - 2 (0)
Chaffinch - 1 (0)
Silvereye - 15 with no recaps which is surprising.
Most of the Silvereyes have now completed or nearly completed their moult
House Sparrow - 18 (2)
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Bellbird - 4 (1)
A juvenile female Bellbird
Tui - 3 (2) All the new birds were juveniles, a couple recently fledged
One of the juvenile Tui, a male the other 2 were female.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Queenstown 14 March - a bit of banding at the stream

We drove down from Christchurch yesterday and will be down here for a couple of weeks getting the place ready for a Grandson's wedding. I put a couple of nets up at the stream at the bottom of the property this afternoon. Managed to catch 21 birds of 5 species, all were new and most juveniles.
Chaffinch - 11 all except 1 were male.
One of the Chaffinch had a very distinct growth bar across its tail. This was also across its wings.
Greenfinch - 4
Silvereye - 3
Bellbird - 2 and a Fantail, the first for a while.
One of the Bellbird, a juvenile male was undergoing its first moult.

The other was an adult female 

The Fantail as usual a fiesty little fellow.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Christchurch - Halswell Quarry - Thur 8 March

On Thursday morning we had a session at the Halswell Quarry and had a very poor catch. Only 5 birds caught, 4 Chaffinch and 1 Silvereye, all new. There were very few birds about in spite of there appearing to be reasonable numbers earlier in the week. Two of the Chaffinch were actually caught twice giving a 50% recapture rate?
Andrew banding one of the Chaffinch

And measuring its wing