29 Mar 2017

Western Siberian Stonechat trapped and ringed - Jubail

Whilst ringing at Sabkhat Al Fasl we trapped a female Siberian Stonechat of the sub-species maurus known as Western Siberian Stonechat. The bird was looked at closely and the rump and uppertail feather moved to see if there was any white extending down the tail feathers, but on this bird there was not. This was a new ringing species for Saudi Arabia although I had trapped and ringed ne in Bahrain some years ago and it was interesting to see the bird in the hand at close quarters. The rump appeared warmer in the hand than when seen in the field but it was completely unstreaked as would be expected. The white wing patch was also well developed on the bird. There has been a good passage of Siberian Stonechats of various types through the Eastern Province in the last few weeks so it was not so surprising to trap one.

28 Mar 2017

Bahrain – Lesser Crested Tern Ringing Recovery

Brendan sent me a ringing recovery of a Lesser Crested Tern that we ringed as part of the tern ringing project on Al Jarim Islands Bahrain. This project has been ongoing for at least ten years and thousands of tern chicks have been ringed. This bird was ringed in Bahrain in 2012 that was found injured in Sri Lanka in 2015. I would like to thank Brendan for sending me the details that are shown below.

Lesser Crested Tern
Ring Number: DE65264
Ringing date: 22-Jun-2012
Ringing Place: Al Jarim Island South, Bahrain, Bahrain & Qatar (Co-ords: 26deg 22min N 50deg 28min E)
Age: Chick
Ringer: B Kavanagh, 4736
Finding date: 18-Nov-2015
Finding Place: Puttalum Lagoon, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanks (Co-ords: 8deg 5min N 79deg 45min E)
Finding Condition: Leg injury
Duration: 1244 days
Distance: 3699 km
Direction: 124 deg (SE)

Finder: D Ramasingha

27 Mar 2017

Birds of prey eating Fat Sand Rats near Jubail - Records by Arnold Uy


Arnold Uy has been seeing Fat Sand Rats at a location near Jubail for most of the winter but reported that recently a large number of birds of prey as well as other birds were in the area probably eating the animals. Species seen included Greater Spotted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Common Kestrel and Long-legged Buzzard. Last week Arnold sent me some great photos of a Common Kestrel eating one of the rats and has kindly allowed me to use them on my website. I am still yet to see these rats so hope a few survive until I have the chance to try and locate them.
Common Kestrel
Common Kestrel
Common Kestrel
Common Kestrel
Common Kestrel
Common Kestrel 
Mauryan Grey Shrike
Mauryan Grey Shrike
Fat Sand Rat
Fat Sand Rat

26 Mar 2017

Winter visitors and spring migrants together - Jubail

Birding the Jubail area a week ago is quite interesting as you can see winter visitors and spring migrants side by side. I saw a reasonable number of migrants as well as a few winter visitors with wintering birds still around in small numbers including Water Pipit, White Wagtail, Red-spotted Bluethroat and Greater Spotted Eagle. Many of the Water Pipits and some Red-spotted Bluethroats are already in summer plumage and will be leaving very soon for their breeding grounds. Summer migrants were mainly Barn Swallows, Sand Martins, Pallid Swifts and a few Yellow Wagtails of various subspecies but mainly Black-headed Wagtail. A single Citrine Wagtail was present with the Yellow Wagtails and this could either be a winter visitor as some winter in very small numbers or more likely a passage migrant as March is the best month for seeing the species in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom.
Water Pipit
Water Pipit
White Wagtail
White Wagtail
Greater Spotted Eagle
Greater Spotted Eagle
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Black-headed Wagtail
Black-headed Wagtail
Black-headed Wagtail
Black-headed Wagtail
Citrine Wagtail
Citrine Wagtail

25 Mar 2017

Ringing in windy conditions - Jubail

Whilst ringing at Sabkhat Al Fasl on 17 March we caught a few birds which was very surprising as the wind was very strong. The forecast had been for calm conditions with sunshine but it turned out to be overcast and strong winds. As we had driven along way we decided to set only four nets along a partly sheltered ride but held out little hope of catching anything. As it turned out we caught 15 birds including nine species so not too bad. Species trapped included Turkestan Shrike, Common Chiffchaff, Red-spotted Bluethroat, Little Bittern, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Indian Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Eastern Stonechat and Graceful Prinia. It was not the best ringing session but was not a waste of time either.
Turkestan Shrike
Turkestan Shrike
Turkestan Shrike
Turkestan Shrike
Indian Reed Warbler
Indian Reed Warbler
Graceful Prinia
Graceful Prinia
Eurasian Reed Warbler
Eurasian Reed Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler