Female Bellbird

Female Bellbird
Female Bellbird

Friday, 16 August 2019

Halswell Quarry Thu 15 Aug - another good morning

We had a session at the Quarry Thursday morning at a new part of the Quarry, near the old stone house that was originally the Quarry engineer's residence. It is about 200-300m from where we banded last week. It proved to be quite a good position with one unexpected problem, its part of the old quarry floor, with the bed rock being only a few cm below the surface we had problems inserting pegs for the guy ropes.
Todays team, our Scribe Sandra, chief helper Jan, Laura a L3Trainer keeping an eye on the Trainees, Kenny, Eleanor and Andrew.

We caught 54 birds of 9 species with 50 new and of the 4 recaptures. Nine species in a session is the highest total we have had even if several were only represented by 1 specimen. Silvereye made up the bulk of the catch with 34 new and all 4 recaps. One of the recaps was banded shortly after we started banding here and is now at 560 days from banding our oldest recap of any species. Other species caught were 6 Greenfinch, 5 House Sparrows and 1 each of Fantail, Blackbird, Starling, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer and last but probably the most exciting bird of the day a Kingfisher. This is the first one we have caught at the Quarry. There appears to be a small breeding population so we hope it is not the last.
Kenny with his and our first Kingfisher

Our first Kingfisher

The Starling was the first one for the year.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Halswell Quarry Thu 8 Aug. - A very good morning

We had a session at the Quarry Thursday morning which proved to be a successful one. We caught 47 birds of 7 species with 38 new and 9 recaps. It was a small team with Andrew having work commitment making him unavailable. It was a cold start with a heavy frost but warmed up rapidly once the sun came up to be a very pleasant morning. We were joined late morning by George who banded with me in Wellington several years ago. He was on his way to help with the clean up on the West Coast and had a few hours in Christchurch. It was great to catch up with him.

George managed to band a few birds

Today's Team, Eleanor, Kenny, Phil, Jan and our scribe Sandra. Ron joined us later with his new Lab. A smashing young pup.

Species caught were - ( recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 2 (0)
Song Thrush - 2 (1) this is the biggest catch we have made of S Thrush at the Quarry in a session and the first one recaptured.

Eleanor banding one of the Song Thrushes.
Dunnock - 1 (0)
Chaffinch - 1 (0)
Greenfinch - 2 (0) with the numbers about I thought we might have caught more.
House Sparrow - 6 (1)
Silvereye - 24 (7) all the recaps had been banded in the last few months.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Another session at Jan's - Thursday 1 August.

With very marginal conditions including a strong, very cold wind we had a session at Jan's place on Kennedys Bush Rd this morning. We were able to get some nets up in sheltered places and caught 42 birds. All except 1 were Silvereyes with 39 new and 2 recaps. The only other bird was a new Chaffinch. There were other birds about especially a number of Bellbirds but they didn't find a net.

We had an additional bander today with Laura who is a level 3 permit holder assisting and giving advice to the trainees
The Team busy at a net . Left to Right Eleanor, Andrew, Laura & Phil

And busy at the banding table

One of the Silvereyes had very bad Pox on its foot.

Another appeared to be blind in its right eye.