Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Halswell Quarry Thu 26 July - a good, if cold morning.

We had a successful session at the Quarry this morning catching 42 birds of 7 species with 36 new and 6 recaps. The forecast was for a calm mild morning after a light frost but they were wrong. It clouded over and a bitterly cold southerly breeze came up. The nets were put up at the other end of the Park from the last few sessions which is more exposed to a southerly.
Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Chaffinch - 3 (0)
Greenfinch - 8 (4) the most we have recaptured in a session.
Blackbird - 0 (1) the first Blackbird we have recaptured here.
Dunnock - 2 (0)
House Sparrow - 17 (0)
Silvereye - 5 (1)
Bellbird - 1 (0)
Todays team L to R. Kenny, Andrew, Ron, Phil, Eleanor, Jan (feeling the cold) and seated our scribe Sandra. 
In front is our mascot, Tess.
During slow periods and during a welcome coffee break we were entertained by Ron who as well as supplying the hot drinks has a wealth of knowledge and information from his years in the Old Wildlife Service and the Dept. of Conservation. He has been involved with many of the conservation efforts with NZs rare and unique birds from Bush Wren to Black Stilts as well as more recently the hunt for the elusive S I Kokako. He should write a book.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Halswell Quarry, Thu 19 July.

We had a session at the Quarry on Thursday morning. A significant drop in numbers and variety from recent sessions. A total of 35 birds caught with 32 new and only 3 recaps. Only 3 species were caught with 27 new Silvereye and 2 recaps, 4 new and 1 recap Bellbird and a solitary Grey Warbler , the first for a while.
This was the highest number of Bellbird we have caught in a session and the first recap. We have now banded 15 Bellbirds, all Male except one. Amazing that we only caught 2 of the 100+ Silvereye that we have banded in this area over the last few weeks, I suspect there is a large turn over of birds.
Eleanor extracting one of the Bellbird
Andrew being closely observed by his two delightful children while processing the Grey Warbler

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Halswell Quarry 5 July - a lot of green and an old recovery

We had a session at the Halswell Quarry this morning and caught 49 birds with 46 new and 3 recaps. All but 7 of the birds were green, 35 new Silvereye with 3 recaps, 3 Bellbird and a Greenfinch. The LBJ's (Little Brown Jobs) were 2 Chaffinch and 5 House Sparrows. The Silvereye recaps were all banded last week

Kenny banding one of the Bellbird

Phil taking the wing length of one of the other Bellbird

An old recovery from Wellington.

I arrived home from the session to find a recovery report from the Banding Office of a banded Starling picked up on the Parade in Island Bay Wellington. It had been banded at the Freeling St site on  5 Aug 2007 and recovered 3984 days later, which is the first time it has been encountered since being banded. I estimate its age at, at least, 11 years 7 months. This is the second oldest bird we have recorded, the oldest being a Blackbird at the Zoo found dead after 4021 days, which was only 37 days longer. Perhaps there is a lesson here for some of us older folk to be careful on the road, by the injuries to the old bird it was probably involved in a vehicle accident.