Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Halswell Quarry Thur 28 Feb - a very quiet morning.

We had a very quiet morning at the Quarry catching only 8 birds but with 6 species at least we had a bit of variety. There were 2 Greenfinch, and 1 each of Dunnock, House Sparrow, Fantail, Grey Warbler and 1 new Silvereye and a recap which was banded 308 days ago and is the oldest Silvereye recapture we have made.
The Fantail was caught when it flew into a net as Phil was putting it up and is the first of the species that he has fully processed.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Queenstown - the last few days of the trip

We are now back in Christchurch after our quick trip down South. Except for House Sparrows didn't catch a lot of bird. In order to avoid Sparrows I put nets up where I thought there weren't any one day. Didn't catch any Sparrows and not much else either. Also had a go at catching Californian Quail again but without success.

Combined totals for the 3 days are -
House Sparrows - 29 (9) I also let a number of recently fledged go unbanded. One of the recaps was banded 20 Sept 15, 3 days before the old bird caught a few days ago. So banded 3 days earlier and caught 3 days later it is at 1244 days from banding now the oldest recap of any species.
The old bird giving me a farewell peck.
Chaffinch - 4 (0)
Dunnock - 4 (0)
Silvereye - 3 (0) all nestlings from a late nest in the garden.
Song Thrush - 1 (0)
Tui - 2 (0) Both were newly fledged juveniles, 1 male and the other a female, probably from the same brood.

The young male
His head showing yellow gape

The female

Neither of them had any sign of a tuft

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Queenstown - several days banding.

We have been down here at Littles Road Dalefield for several days and I have attempted to do banding with very mixed sucess. Rebbeca (Bex) came up from Te Anau at the weekend and we had a session at the stream Sat afternoon which was pretty slow only catching 9 birds. She came here on Sun morning with even less sucess we didn't catch a bird untill after she left when I caught a few. On Monday I had another session at the stream but it was curtailed when it started to rain. This morning (Tuesday) Hayley came to try her skills and with the same setup as we had on Sunday. We caught heaps although of  very little variety with almost all being juvenile House Sparrows.
This evening I set a net up near the house with the hope of catching something differant. Initially it was again Sparrows althugh there was a very old one which was good. Then my Grandson Tom flushed a covey of Californian Quail into the net with me having failed miserably earlier. Of the 12 or so in the covey we caught and banded 8 including an adult Male and Female the rest being juveniles.

The combined totals for the period is (recaps in brackets)
Goldfinch - 6 (0) all caught at the stream.
Bex banding one of the Goldfinch.
Greenfinch - 2 (0)
Redpoll - 1 (0) the first for a while.
Silvereye - 1 (0)
House Sparrow - 39 (6) mostly juveniles but included a bird banded a couple of weeks after we started banding here. It is now at 1238 days from banding our oldest recap of any species recaptured here.
Several of the juvenile Sparrows had very pronounced growth bands
Dunnock - 2 (2)
Californian Quail - 8 (0) by far the biggest catch far exceding the 3 caught in the past.
The Male Quail on left, female on right

One of the juvenile Quail.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Houghton Valley Stream

First off please forgive me for not posting for a while.  The Wellington group is active but the blog poster (me) keeps forgetting to put the results up on this wonderful forum. 

This is the first time that we've visited the Houghton Valley Stream site in about a year.  This site is very seasonal as it requires a good period of dry weather to be productive.  Luckily Wellington has had quite a bit of the old dry over the last couple of weeks so the stream is getting lots of use as it's the only open water course in the valley.

Ros, Kate (now a level 2), Barbara and myself pulled out 62 birds representing 9 species in the space of 2 and half hours.  It was ring and fling in Peter's grand tradition for a while there.

Species totals are - recaps in brackets:
chaffinches - 6
House sparrow - 6
Green finch - 12(1)
Goldfinch - 4
Dunnock - 1
Silvereye - 29
Starling - 1
Fantail - 3
Grey Warbler - 1

Unfortunately for us we had run out of AX bands so we had to release the Fantail and Warbler without any bling.