Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Halswell Quarry 30 Aug - A quiet morning.

We had a relatively quiet morning's banding at the Quarry today. The nets were erected amongst the flowering gums and wattles in the Australian section where there had been a lot of birds last weekend when the area had been checked. Unfortunately numbers (esp. Bellbird) had dropped during the week. I suspect birds had moved to Kowhai trees that are now in full bloom. We were joined today by George who is down from Wellington where he was part of the group I banded with there. Also we had Andre come along. He is a South African trained bander who wants some experience with New Zealand birds.
Today's Team. Back L to R - Eleanor, Ron, George, Andrew (CCC Park Ranger), Andre. Front - Christine ( CCC ecologist), Sandra (scribe) & Jan

We caught a total of 24 birds of only 4 species with all but one being new. Silvereye 16, Chaffinch 4, House Sparrow 2, Yellowhammer 1 and a Bellbird recap.
Andre with the first Yellowhammer he has handled and banded

The Bellbird recap. The first Andre has handled (but he didn't get to band it).

Friday, 3 August 2018

Queenstown Fri 3 August - heaps of birds

I had a session here this morning, same site as a couple of days ago. Again the start was delayed by damp weather but once it cleared it was all go. Caught a record number of birds for down here. A total of 115 birds caught of 6 species with 90 new and 25 recaps.

By far the majority were Silvereyes with 60 new and 22 recaptures . This is a record number of Silvereye, the previous record was set 5 Aug last year. . Two of the recaps were banded on 20 Sept 2015 they were consecutive numbers AP-16326 & 27 they are now the oldest recaptures here at 1048 days from banding. Except for one being caught the day after banding neither had been recaptured before. The previous record holder AP-16331 which had been caught two days ago was also banded on the same day. Another recap had been banded at The Thurlby Domain, not a huge distance just a few ks but still good to get and the furtherest  we have made.

Other species caught were -
Chaffinch - 3 (1)
Greenfinch - 4 (0)
House Sparrow - 16 (2)
Bellbird - 1 (0)
Tui - 6 (0)

The first Tui caught, a young male.

Of back to Chrstchurch in the morning, then up to Auckland for a for a couple of weeks, so no banding for a while.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Queenstown - 1 August

After heavy rain started about 7.30 this morning I thought my banding plans were history. But about 9 it cleared as quick as it started and I ended up having a pretty successful day. This morning I had a double rigged net up here at a site I have been feeding for the last couple of days. Caught 55 birds of 7 species with 43 new and 12 recaps.

Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Chaffinch - 6 (0)
All except one of the Chaffinch were male
Dunnock - 1 (0)
House Sparrow - 5 (2)
Starling - 1 (0) The first for a while.
The Starling was a stroppy male already getting its breeding plumage 
Silvereye - 27 (12) one of the recaps was banded 20 Sept 2015 a week or so after banding started here. At 1046 days from banding is the oldest recap here.
Bellbird - 1 (0) A female, the first new one for several months.
The Bellbird was an adult female.
Tui - 2 (0)

This afternoon I had a session at Moorhill Rd, catching birds stealing chook food. Unfortunately I put up an extra net from the setup I had last time and this turned out to be a big mistake. There was a very poor catch rate until I took the extra net down and then it improved until I had to call it a day as darkness approached. Ended up with 19 birds of 3 species, all new except Dunnock 2, Chaffinch 8 and 8 Yellowhammer and a recap.