11 Mar 2013

Very windy weather – Alba Marsh (Bahrain)


An early morning ringing trip to Alba Marsh was met with very windy weather when we arrived. Having spent time and money crossing the Causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain Nicole and I decided to set up our nets anyway in the hope of catching one or two birds. After the first hour we still had not caught a single bird and were contemplating leaving the site to try to catch some beetle larve to use in the spring traps next weekend. We took down a couple of the really exposed nets and then finally caught a few birds. We only managed six birds in total, four Clamorous Reed Warblers, one Graceful Prinia and one Red-spotted Bluethroat. The Graceful Prinia and three of the four Clamorous Reed Warblers were re-traps all having been ringed at the same site previously and the Graceful Prinia had a brood patch indicating breeding was taking place. After taking down the nets we went in search of beetle larvae which we catch by placing a long thin palm frond down the hole and wait for the insect to grab the frond and very fast, pull the frond out with the beetle larvae attached. This is not easy and takes a while to get used to it and as the beetles are up to 45 centimetres below the ground you need a long palm frond. The beetle larvae are then use to try to catch Shrikes and Wheatears in spring traps which we will attempt to do next week.
Graceful Prinia
Graceful Prinia
Clamorous Reed Warbler
Clamorous Reed Warbler
Clamorous Reed Warbler
Clamorous Reed Warbler
Clamorous Reed Warbler
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat

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