Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Monday, 24 September 2018

Queenstown - recent banding

We have had two sessions here since the last post. On Thursday 20th I had nets up at a new site and caught 38 birds of 5 species with 23 new and 15 recaps. The highlight of the day was a couple of old recaptures. Yesterday, 23rd Rachel came over from Hawea for the day, we caught 58 birds of 6 species with 42 new and 16 recaps. A record number of Yellowhammers being the highlight as well as capturing 2 female Bellbirds.

The combined totals of the two days was - (recaptures in brackets)
Silvereye - 23 (16)
House Sparrow - 11 (2)
Chaffinch - 11 (1) the recap had been banded on the first day of banding here, 12 Sept 2015 so is now the oldest bird recaptured of any species.
Yellowhammer - 10 (1) all caught on the 23rd and is the highest total for a single days banding here.

Photo Rachel Hufton

The Yellowhammers come in a multitude of facial patterns. Photo Rachel Hufton
Tui - 6 (2) most of the new birds were first year females.
Bellbird - 3 (7) including 1 new and a recap female. One of the new males had all 3 front claws missing and had obviosly recieved some trauma to its right leg.
The new female Bellbird

The munted foot and leg of the male Bellbird. Photo Rachel Hufton
Song Thrush - 1 (1) the recap was banded Dec 2015 and is the oldest recaptured Song Thrush This is the first time it has been caught since being banded.
Dunnock - 0 (1)

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Queenstown - Another good morning.

I put nets up in the same configeration as yesterday with the intention of moving them after an hour or so. But as I kept catching interesting birds they stayed put. I finished up with 1 more bird than yesterday, 53 of 8 species with 30 new and 23 recaps.Species caught were -
Chaffinch - 3 (0)
Rdpoll - 0 (1) the same bird that was banded yesterday.
Dunnock - 0 (3)
Yellowhammer 1 (0) this bird was missing the left foot and lower leg but despite this it appeared to be in good condition.

House Sparrow - 9 (2)
Silvereye - 16 (15) several of the recaps had been banded yesterday but there were a number from previous years including one banded 20 Sept 2015, and if I catch it tomorrow it will be 3 years.  At 1095 days it is the oldest Silvereye recaptured here and only beaten by a Chaffinch at 3099 days.
Bellbird - 1 (1)
Tui - 0 (2) one was the second male Tui banded here and was a newly fledged juvenile when banded in Feb 2016 and it is now the oldest Tui recaptured.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Queenstown - Update of the last few days.

On Sunday morning Bex came over and we banded in mild sunny temperatures until the wind strengthened late morning and we had to take the nets down. It was a fairly quiet morning. We caught 23 birds of 5 species with 18 new and 5 recaps. By far the majority were Silvereyes.
Bex at the banding table - Sunday

The same table on Monday - because someone didn't put it away.

I woke on Monday morning to heavy snow. The ground was already covered and it continued to snow until midday. After scattering food on the lawn the nearest thing to banding that I did was look for banded birds out of the window.

This morning dawned calm and sunny although the ground was still covered with the white stuff. I set up nets late morning after the temperature had risen and with birds having had time to get some food. Caught 52 birds of 6 species with 38 new and 14 recaptures.

The combined totals for both sessions was - (Recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 0 (1)
Chaffinch - 2 (0)
Redpoll - 1 (0) the first for a while.
House Sparrow - 14 (1) all except 1 were male.
Silvereye - 31 (12)
Bellbird - 1 (2) included in the recaps was the oldest Bellbird caught here, it was banded April 2016.
The new Bellbird aged as an adult due to its bright eye
Tui - 4 (4)
One of the Tui about to be released.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Queenstown Saturday 15 Sept

We had a couple of sessions down here today. This morning I had a net up for a short time, didn;t catch many birds but there was a couple of interesting ones. The miserable tally was 5, 1 new and 4 recaps. The new bird was a Silvereye and the recaps 1 each of Blackbird, Chaffinch, Dunnock and Bellbird. The Chaffinch was banded on the first day of banding here, 12 Sept 2015 so at 1099 days from banding is the oldest recap and the first over 3 years. The dunnock was banded a couple of weeks later but doesn't quite make the 3 year mark.

This afternoon Bex joined me and we went to the site in Moorhill Rd. We caught 26 birds of 5 species with all but 4 being new. Chaffinch 7, House Sparrow 7, Yellowhammer 4, Blackbird 2 and Dunnock 2 new and 4 recaps. All the recaps were banded back in June. One of the Yellowhammers was blind in its right eye, despite this it was still within the normal weight range.
The Yellowhammers blind side

And its good side

Bex busy at our banding table.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Halswell Quarry Sunday 9 Sept.- Last session here for a while

We had a session at the Quarry this morning. As it was in the same area we used a couple of days ago I wasn't expecting a big catch but was still pleased to get 27 birds of 6 species. There were 22 new and 4 recaps, only one of the recaps was from Thursday.

Species caught were -
Blackbird - 1 (1) the recap was from last October just a couple of weeks after we started banding at this site and is now the oldest bird recaptured of any species.
House Sparrow - 9 (0)
Silvereye - 9 (4) one of the recaps was banded not long after the Blackbird.
Greenfinch, Yellowhammer & Starling 1 of each.
Today's team during one of the quieter moments.
L to R Sandra (scribe), Jan, Eleanor, Andrew, Kenny, And seated Ron with our "Bird Dog" (retired) Jess 
I am off down south later in the week so the next report is likely to be from down there.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Halswell Quarry Thursday 6 Sept - a reasonable catch.

We had a session at the Halswell Quarry on Thursday morning. The session was held at the opposite end of the Park from the recent ones in an area replanted in native trees.With some of the regular banders away we were a smaller group than usual so only had two nets up instead of the usual four. Despite this we still had a steady flow of birds catching 39 of 6 species. There were 35 new and 4 recaptures. Species caught were -
Blackbird - 1 (0)
Starling - 1 (0) This is the first Starling we have caught this year.

Eleanor banding her first Starling.
House Sparrow - 8 (3) Included in the recaps was one banded in one of the first sessions and is now at 273 days the oldest bird recaptured at this site.
Greenfinch - 8
We had a group of Tai Tapu School children, who were on a nature tour drop by. Although they were limited by their tight schedule they enthusiastically watch a Silvereye being processed.
The children watching a Silvereye about to be released

Thursday, 6 September 2018

New Banding Office Newsletter

The link doesn't seem to work so try this one.


The above link should take you to the latest NZ Banding Office Newsletter. It is well worth a read with a lot of interesting stuff. A number of the authors I have had the pleaser of knowing over the years. Sandy is a friend and ex colleague, Jack is a great guy and I have had the pleasure of banding on his farm a number of times, Chris I spent a week on an Island banding Penguins, Murray I have known since I was a teenager and he was with the Wildlife Service. Lance I have never met but the group I was with in Wellington was responsible for banding the House Sparrow that  started him on his banding related journey.