Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Halswell Quarry 28 June - a lot of new Silver

We had a banding/training session at the Halswell Quarry here in Christchurch this morning. It was held in a new area amongst Red Flowering Gums in the Australian section. It turned out to be a busy one with a record catch of 63 birds. All were new. There had been banded birds seen in the area but none were caught. By far the majority were Silvereyes with 46 followed by House Sparrows with 11, 3 Bellbirds, 2 Chaffinch and 1 each of Greenfinch and Yellowhammer. Had hoped to catch more Bellbird as there are a lot feeding in the area but most were a bit high. Had also thought that Cirl Bunting might have been a possibility as 2 had been seen a couple of days ago but no joy.
Eleanor banding one of the Bellbird
The Yellowhammer held in Andrews big mitt.

Some of the group busy at the banding table. Sandra (scribe), Eleanor, Kenny, Andrew and Luke.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

A new site, Moorhill Rd - a lot of Yellow

I had a session at a new site this afternoon. It is the property of a Lady who returned a band from a dead sparrow and is about 1.5km from my main site near Queenstown. She has heaps of small birds feeding on left over chook food. She feeds her small flock of multicoloured hens and an old rooster called Roger on the driveway.
The hens are an interesting collection

She normally feeds the hens about 4pm and the birds arrive almost instantly. I set up one net about 3.30 and waited but not for long. Banded 30 birds of 3 species also caught a number of House Sparrows but did not band them. Banded 2 Chaffinch, 8 Dunnocks and a masive 18 Yellowhammers. Also recaptured a banded House Sparrow that had been banded at the main site back in January as a newly fledged juvinile.

A couple of the Yellow fellows

Monday, 18 June 2018

Queenstown 17 & 18 June - another Creeper

Yesterday morning, 17th, Bex came back for another session. We caught 70 birds with 37 new and 33 recaps. The catch was dominated by Silvereyes with 22 new and 28 recaps. House Sparrows were the other larger group with 12 and 3. Chaffinch 2 and 1 and a sole Yellowhammer made up the total.

This morning Rachel come over from Hawea and we had a session at the neighbours where there are a couple of apple trees with some fruit still attarcting a range of birds. Again Silvereyes made up the bulk of the catch with 33 new and 8 recaps. There was also 1 each of Chaffinch, Bellbird and Tui also a recap Dunnock. But the catching of 2 Brown Creeper was the highlight. One was new and the other was a recapture of the bird caught a couple of days ago. The distance between sites is not great probably only a couple of 100 meters on the opposite side of a stream that has banks covered with willow and hawthorn. Not far but still a good bird. This stream is probably the route that the birds follow coming up from the Shotover River.

The two Brown Creeper with the recap nearest.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Queenstown,Sat 16 June - a short but successful session.

Bex, who works in the Te Anau DoC Office and hopes to get her L2 permit for passerines and mist netting came over this afternoon, she already has some L2 qualifications. We made a start about 2 pm and took the nets down about 4. In that time we caught 48 birds of 9 species, we would have had 10 but a Greenfinch didn't wait around for it's bling. There were 28 new birds and 14 recaptures. Included was the first ever Brown Creeper, a species seen a couple of times but never caught before. Also we made our first recapture of a Kingfisher.

Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Chaffinch - 3 (0)
Dunnock - 0 (2)
House Sparrow - 3 (5)
Song Thrush - 1 (0)
Silvereye - 19 (5) one of the recaps was banded a week or so after banding comenced here and at 1000 days is the oldest recap of any species.
Brown Creeper - 1 (0) the first one banded here and the first one I have banded.
Our first ever Brown Creeper
Bellbird - 0 (1)
Tui - 0 (1)
Bex handling her first Tui
Kingfisher - 0 (1) it was banded 22 Dec 2015. We have only banded 4 here so amazing to get a recap after more than 2 years (907 days).
Bex with our first Kingfisher recap.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Halswell Quarry, Thu 7 June

We had a session at the Quarry this morning and caught a total of 46 individual birds with 33 new and 13 recaps. The actual number of bird handlings would have been much higher as a lot of Silvereyes were caught multiple times.
Our scribe, Sandra keeps an eye on Eleanor while I keep an eye on Ron's cookie jar.

There were 6 species caught. (recaptures in brackets)
House Sparrow - 15 (1)
Greenfinch - 7
Dunnock - 1
Chaffinch - 2 (1)
Silvereye - 6 (11)
Bellbird - 2
The second Bellbird caught was a big old male with a very large bill.