Arrived back in Christchurch last night after a few days down south. Went down primarily to mow lawns and generally tidy up the place and of course hoped to catch a few birds. We had arranged for a contractor to have mown the lawns a couple of weeks ago but unfortunately due to wet weather he had not been able to and it was like a paddock of hay. On the first night it started to rain and it rained and it rained. When it finally cleared a bit I was able to get a net up for a while but caught very little. One Chaffinch and a 9 new House Sparrows and 6 recaps. One of the recaps was banded Dec 2015 and is now the oldest H Sparrow recaptured.
In the afternoon a went down to the Moorhill Rd site for a couple of hours, caught 40 birds but with only 3 species there was not much variety. Amazingly caught 31 new Yellowhammers and 1 recap, this is the most I have ever caught in a session. There is a huge number there at the moment, they must be eating more chook food than the chooks. Other birds were 2 new Blackbirds and 4 new H Sparrows and 3 recaps. All 3 recaps came from the Littles Rd site ( about 2km) one recently but the other 2 were older, 1 Dec 15 and the other Jan 16.
Yesterday morning I managed to get a couple of nets up for a while before we left, not a big catch but at least a bit of variety. Dunnock 1 new, House Sparrow 7 new and 3 recaps, Blackbird 1 new, 1 recap. The recap was banded in Nov 2015 just over 3 years ago and is now the oldest bird of any species recaptured down there. Also recaptured 1 Bellbird and 1 Tui.