Colour Banded Tui

Colour Banded Tui
C Banded Tui © Peter Reese

Friday, 27 April 2018

Halswell Quarry - Thu 26 April

We had a good session on Thursday morning at the Halswell Quarry. Caught 26 birds of 7 species, all new except 1. There was a steady flow of birds for most of the morning which was ideal to give the trainees time with each bird. As well as the regular participants we had the company of Andrew's young son who was a keen and enthusiastic assistant.

Birds caught were -
Blackbird - 1
Xavier about to release the Blackbird

And its OFF
Chaffinch - 1 with 1 recap, a bird banded at the last session.
Greenfinch - 3
House Sparrow - 7
Silvereye - 11 we also a couple of recaps but one had just been banded and the other was reluctant to go into a bag and made a premature escape.
Grey Warbler - 1
Fantail - 1

The Fantail had a bad infestation of mite. Possibly due to having been in a 2nd or 3rd brood fledging from the same nest with a subsequent build up of the little beasties. 

Friday, 13 April 2018

Halswell Quarry Thu 12 April - A good morning

A group of trainees and a scribe joined me in a session at the Halswell Quarry on Thursday morning. We had a reasonably successful session catching 24 birds of 6 species with 21 new and 3 recaps.
Most of the team. Sandra our scribe, Eleanor, Ron and Kenny. Andrew was late due to (so he claimed) by work commitments.
House Sparrow - 12, Greenfinch, Dunnock, Grey Warbler & Song Thrush 1 each and Silvereye 5 with 3 recaptures. One of the recaps was banded on our first day at this site so is now our oldest but still just under 200 days.
Eleanor with her first Song Thrush, also received a nice deposit.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Christchurch Halswell Quarry - Thursday

On Thursday morning we had a session at the Halswell Quarry with moderate success. We caught 17 birds of 6 species, all were new and most species were represented by only 1 bird.
Greenfinch 10, (the most caught there in a session) Chaffinch 3 and 1 each of Blackbird, Dunnock, House Sparrow and Silvereye.
Eleanor banding the Silvereye under the watchful eye of our scribe.

We were also joined for a period by a group of school pupils who were given a talk on bird banding and on Ranger work by Andrew and Kenny.

Andrew talking to the school group

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Queenstown - the last banding here for a while

I have had a couple of sessions since the last post. On Wednesday afternoon I put a net up at the Thurlby Domain amongst some very large old fruit trees. This area is a privatly owned old homestead with the original house ruins and the remnants of the garden and orchard. It is about 2.5k from my usual banding sites and I hope to get some indication of bird movement - or lack of.

I caught 27 birds of only 3 species all new. 22 Silvereyes, 1 House Sparrow and 4 Bellbirds. The bellbird were all male with 3 old birds and 1 juvenile, one of the old birds was I think the bigest I have caught with a wing of 96mm and weighed in at 37g.
The wing of an old bird - note the sharp spike on P7
The wing of the young bird - note the lack of the sharp spike.

This site I thnk has huge potential for banding over the next few months.

Yesterday, Friday 30th I put a couple of nets up at the stream with very limited success. Firstly I had trouble getting one of the nets up due to a tangle losing half of an hour ( I blame the person who last used the net - me!). I ended up with 12 birds but with 7 species at least there was some variety. Chaffinch 3, Redpoll 2, Goldfinch 1, Dunnock 1, Silvereye 2, House Sparrow 1, Bellbird 1. All were new.

The Redpols, both males were the first for some time.

The majotity of birds appear to have moved about 10m upstream from where I normally set the nets so I will try a new setup next time. Back to Christchurch in the morning, so no more banding here for a while.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Queenstown Mon 26 March - Bellbirds & Tui

I had nets up yesterday targeting Bellbird and Tui that were coming to sugar water feeders that I have had in position for several days. I was reasonably successful and also caught a few other species as well. Total of 30 birds of 6 species caught with 20 new and 10 recaps.
Dunnock - 1 (2)
House Sparrow - 11 (2)
Chaffinch - 1 (0)
Silvereye - 1 (0)
Tui - 3 (1) all were juveniles. The old ones have learnt to avoid nets.
One of the young male Tui
Bellbird - 3 (5) The biggest catch of Bellbird I have had and the most recaps in a day. A number of the recaps were recently banded juveniles. It's good to know they are still about and surviving.
A young male Bellbird
I had planned to have another day's banding today but at the moment it's raining steadily so it doesn't look hopeful.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Queenstown - sporadic banding 19/20 March

During the last couple of days I have operated 2 nets when the opportunity arose, furling them between sessions. I was surprised at the number of birds caught as the nets were positioned more for convenience than potential.
Caught 33 birds of 7 species with 24 new and 9 recaptures.
Blackbird - 1 (4) the best catch for a while.
Chaffinch - 6 (0)
Dunnock 1 (3) One of the recaps was banded 14 Sept 2015, the third day of banding here. At 918 days from banding it is now the oldest bird recaptured here.
House Sparrow - 2 (1)
Tui - 0 (1) a recently banded juvenile.
Bellbird - 1 (0) another recently fledged female which was a real bonus, last bird caught.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Queenstown - Some recent banding

 I have had several sessions since the last post. Had a small catch in the neighbour's hen house consisting mostly of House Sparrows. And in the last couple of days I have put nets up at a large pear tree that was attracting a variety of birds to ripe fruit. During this period I caught 54 birds of 8 species, 46 new and 8 recaptures.
Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 1 (1) There are surprisingly few Blackbirds about at the moment.
Starling - 2 (0)
Chaffinch - 1 (0)
Silvereye - 15 with no recaps which is surprising.
Most of the Silvereyes have now completed or nearly completed their moult
House Sparrow - 18 (2)
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Bellbird - 4 (1)
A juvenile female Bellbird
Tui - 3 (2) All the new birds were juveniles, a couple recently fledged
One of the juvenile Tui, a male the other 2 were female.