Yet another banding project I'm involved in!
A project has just been started by Peter Milburn and Mark Clayton, studying the birds at the Lerida Estate vineyard. Lerida Estate is beside the Federal Highway, 50km north-east of Canberra, and is set on the lower slopes of the range overlooking Lake George.
The main study species is the Silvereye, a species that has an impact on grapes and other fruit crops, however all species caught are banded.
It is an interesting site, with some mist nets being set under bird netting over ripening grapes and others in the open between rows of vines.
Last weekend we banded for a couple of hours on Saturday evening and about five hours on Sunday morning. We caught:
Superb Fairy-wren 3
Yellow-rumped Thornbill 3
Red-browed Finch 3
European Goldfinch 3
Silvereye 11 (5 retraps)
We record all retraps even if they are from that day as part of the study is to determine what birds are resident and what are just moving through the vineyard, and if birds are caught in the netted areas and released outside the nets, do they get back in again. So far nothing has actually been caught under the bird netting but there are birds inside the netting. Interestingly, three of the Silvereyes were the Tasmanian race, lateralis; these birds migrate to the mainland for winter.
Lerida Estate winery
The view across the top of Lake George, with the Cullerin Range wind farm in the background
Mist nets under exclusion netting
Mist nets in the open between vine rows
A mist net covers the end of a couple of vine rows, with the exclusion netting open, aiming to catch birds escaping from under the netting.
The main study beast, the Silvereye
This Silvereye is the Tasmanian race lateralis, with the chestnut flanks. Note the bit of purple staining on the vent and the partially digested grape skin on Mark's finger.
Female Superb Fairy-wren
European Goldfinch, showing the wing about halfway through moult of the primaries.
Juvenile European Goldfinch