Colour Banded Tui

Colour Banded Tui
C Banded Tui © Peter Reese

Friday, 29 April 2016

Queenstown - the last 10 days or so

I have had a few sessions here over the last 10 days or so. There was much variation in both length and success. Also had a session at the neighbours which was, with only 4 birds caught, a bit pathetic. Will have another go there in the next week or so but will use a different net configuration.

The most interesting event was not banding a bird, but a near miss. Yesterday I put a couple of nets up in net lanes I had cut on the bank of a stream that borders one side of the property. These were amongst a mixture of introduced trees mostly Hawthorn, Silver Birch and Willow. While extracting a Greenfinch a small flock of Brown Creeper moved along feeding on the other side of the net. Three of them eyeballed me through the net from about 2 feet away then moved on. I left the nets up but they didn't oblige, --- perhaps one day.

There has been an apparent increase in bird numbers recently especially of Blackbirds which are feeding on Hawthorn berries, and of course, mostly feeding at the top out of reach of my poles/nets.

Since the last post I have caught 53 birds of 9 species with 35 new and 18 recaptures.
Blackbird - 9 (2) most caught yesterday under the Hawthorns.
House Sparrow - 12 (10)
Dunnock - 2 (3) 1 of the recaps was the first Dunnock banded down here
Silvereye - 0 (1) this was the first Silvereye banded down here, caught in the same net as the Dunnock and both were probably also banded at this net site.
Greenfinch - 4 (0) also caught under the Hawthorn and obviously feeding on berries/seeds.
Greenfinch showing evidence of having munched on Hawthorn berries, probably to feed on the seeds.
Redpoll - 3 (0)
Chaffinch - 2 (0)
Tui - 1 (0)
Bellbird - 2 (2)  The ratio of Male to Female banded is now 14 to 1

Monday, 18 April 2016

Queenstown - the lastest totals

Since the last update I have put nets up at various places around the grounds and twice at the stream at the bottom of the property.  At the first session at the stream I caught 20 birds which was I think a reasonable catch but the second time I caught 3 which was pathetic. So probably won't go back there for a while.

A total of 74 birds of 9 species were caught over this couple of weeks with 40 new and 14 recaps.
Silvereye - 5 (0)
Chaffinch - 0 (1)
Goldfinch - 1 (0)
A lot of birds including this Goldfinch have finished or just about finished their primary moult.
Redpoll - 14 (1) all caught at the stream.
Yellowhammer - 1 (1)
House Sparrow - 29 (7) except for the stream site Sparrows are caught regularly.

A H Sparrow had a broken/deformed P7 feather on each wing.
Dunnock - 3 (2)
Tui - 2 (0)
Bellbird - 5 (2) all Tui & Bellbird were caught in nets set next to a Nashi Pear tree.  The tree is a bit too high for my set up but I catch a few of the low flying ones. They love the juice of partly eaten fruit. One of the new Bellbirds was a female, the first and only one I have caught down here. A ratio of 1 Female  to 12 Males is a bit out of sync.

The first Female Bellbird caught down here.


On a non banding note the autumn colours here at the moment are fabulous. Photos taken from the house.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Wellington Totals for 2015/16 year

It's raining here today so I have crunched the numbers for the birds caught in Wellington for the banding year to 31 March. The totals were down by about 50% on previous years, mainly due to very little banding going on for the last few months of the year.

We caught 1543 new birds of 20 species and made 913 recaptures of 11 species. The species total is a record due to several new species being caught during a field trip to Mana & Matu/Somes Islands. During this trip Yellow crowned Parakeet, Red crowned Parakeet, N I Robin and Whitehead were added to the groups species list.

Species totals for the year ranked in order were - (recaps in brackets)
  1. Silvereye - 819 (768) back in No 1 spot after dropping to No 2 last year.
  2. House Sparrow - 209 (48)
  3. Greenfinch - 174 (46)
  4. Blackbird - 87 (22)
  5. Chaffinch - 81 (6)
  6. Dunnock - 32 (10)
  7. Tui - 27 (2)
  8. Goldfinch - 25 (3)
  9. Yellowhammer - 20
  10. Bellbird - 17 (1) all the new birds were caught on Mana Is. The recap was at the Karori Cemetery.
  11. Grew Warbler - 11 (6)
  12. Yellow crowned Parakeet - 11
  13. Whitehead - 7
  14. Fantail - 6 (1)
  15. Kingfisher - 5 most were caught on Mana Is.
  16. Starling - 3 an all time low not sure why, there appeared to be plenty about.
  17. Song Thrush - 2
  18. Eastern Rosella - 1
  19. Red crowned Parakeet - 1
  20. N. I. Robin - 1

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Queenstown - totals

I have just tallied up the birds banded down here for the banding year to 31 March. A total of 995 birds of 16 species were banded and 277 recaptures of 12 species were made. This is not for a full year as banding only started here on 12 Sept 2015.

Species caught during this period ranked by new birds banded were -

1. House Sparrow - 293 (85) Far more Sparrows about than I had expected probably due in part to both neighbours keeping hens.
2. Redpoll - 259 (17) The big surprise with most caught at a small stream site.
3. Silvereye - 145 (45) Most were caught in the first couple of months.
4. Chaffinch - 79 (34)
5. Blackbird - 49 (42)
6. Dunnock - 48 (29)
7. Song Thrush - 27 (10)
8. Greenfinch - 21 (0)
9. Goldfinch - 19 (3)
10. Starling - 19 (6)
11. Yellowhammer - 17 (4)
12. Bellbird - 8 (1) Bellbirds only turned up in reasonable numbers in March.
13. Tui - 5 (1)
14. Kingfisher - 4 (0) All Kingfishers appeared to leave the area  after the last chicks fledged in early January.
15. Fantail - 1 (0)
16. Grey Warbler - 1 (0)

Not a lot of birds about at the moment and with several wet days there has not been much banding recently. Hope to do a bit in the next day or so.