28 Nov 2011

Bahrain - Ringing at Alba Marshes

Brendan, Nicole and I went ringing at Alba Marshes at the weekend. When we got there, a number of reed cutters were present cutting the reeds for their livestock, but luckily, although they were close to our ringing area they were not disturbing it too much. It was still a little bit windy but luckily not as windy as the day before when it would have been very difficult to put the nets up. We decided to put up three 18 metre nets in the reed beds and whilst putting up the nets it was obvious a lot of birds were present, especially Bluethroat and Water Pipit, with numerous Water Rail calling. We caught quite a few birds in the mist nets including one White Wagtail, one Daurian Shrike that we had seen sitting in a nearby small Tamarisk, two Graceful Prinia, three Bluethroat and three Clamorous Reed Warbler. The first year male Bluethroat had a very dark (almost black) band on the throat that was darker than any of us had seen before. Other birds seen included six Black-crowned Night Heron, one Little Bittern, one Jack Snipe, two Western Marsh Harrier including one dark phase male and one Gull-billed Tern. I had never ringed White Wagtail before so ringed this bird and all the others excepting one Graceful Prinia and one Bluethroat which Nicole ringed. Brendan has now caught more than 15 Clamorous Reed Warbler in this small area of reed beds and has not had a re-trap yet showing how many individual birds of this species occur in the reeds here.
 Graceful Prinia
 Graceful Prinia
 Graceful Prinia
 Bluethroat (1st year male)
 Bluethroat (1st year male)
 Bluethroat (1st year male)
 Bluethroat (1st year male)
 Clamorous Reed Warbler
Clamorous Reed Warbler

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