Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Queenstown - very, very quiet

We came back last night after a quick trip to our son's property near Queenstown. I tried to get a bit of banding in but was not very successful. On Monday Haley come over from Dunedin and in a couple of hours we caught 1 lone Blackbird. After she had left on her journey home I left the nets up and caught a further 3 birds.

Haley with her first and only Blackbird
On Tuesday I had nets up for most of the day while I did chores around the property and caught another 3 birds. In all 4 new birds were caught and 3 recaptured but with 5 species at least there was a little bit of variety. The total included 2 new Blackbirds, 1 new and 1 recap Bellbird,  1 recap House Sparrow, a recap Chaffinch and a new Fantail, the first banded in over a year. The recap Bellbird was a female and the oldest female I have recaptured. The Chaffinch was originally banded on the first day of banding at this site, 12 Sept 2015 and is now the oldest bird recaptured of any species.
The Fantail was a first year bird.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Halswell Quarry Sunday 14 April

After having to call off Thursday's planned session due to rain we had a go this morning with rather better conditions. It was a quiet morning with just 11 birds of 4 species caught, all except 2 House sparrows were new. There were 4 Silvereyes, 2 Blackbirds, 1 Greenfinch and 2 House Sparrows plus the recaps. The 2 recaps were both originally caught at the same net site nearly a year ago.

I didn't take any photos today but here is one I have received from Rachel who trains with me down near Queenstown. It is of a Rock Wren with a band like object around its leg. Apparently it is sloughed skin but I think it looks like a toilet roll put on the bird's leg by one of the little Elves who inhabit the rocky outcrops and who use the birds as transport!!

Female Rock Wren - Photo by Rachel Hufton.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Halswell Quarry Thursday 4 April - Sparrows & Greenfinch

We had a session at the Quarry on Thursday morning catching 25 birds but with the catch dominated by two species there wasn't much variety. The day started out very promising with calm conditions and a good number of birds however the eastly kicked in and it became blustery and cold. With the wind increasing bird numbers dropped.

All birds were new except a Chaffinch recap, this was the first bird caught and at 483 days from banding is the oldest caught of any species, exceeding the next oldest by over 100 days.The rest of the catch consisted of 12 House Sparrows and 11 Greenfinch plus a lone Silvereye which was the last bird caught.
The Silvereye was interesting as its moult was not following the usual sequence and the two wings doing their own thing. Here is a couple of not very clear photos.
Right wing with P9 half grown, P8 & 7 full grown and P6 still growing.

Left wing with  P9,8,7 all half grown with the rest finished.