24 Apr 2014

More Sedge and a Savi’s Warbler – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Last weekends ringing trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl meant leaving Dhahran at 04:00 hrs to get to the site and set nets before it was fully light. This was also good as the temperatures are finally reaching their norm of 38+ degrees Celsius by mid-day which is very hot when ringing. We set all our five nets but moved one to a new position between two small reed beds to see what we could catch there. This proved to have been a good move as we caught a number of birds in this net including our first site ringing record of Savi’s Warbler. This species is a rare passage migrant from late February to May and again from August to September although I have heard a number at the site this spring already indicating they are probably commoner than thought and should have a status as an uncommon passage migrant. The commonest birds trapped were Sedge Warblers with ten birds caught including one from last weekend that had put on lots of fat and had increased in weight from 11.2 to 12.2 grams indicating the bird may have just arrived when caught and is feeding up ready for it’s onwards migration. Other birds caught included a Caspian Reed Warbler A. s. fuscus with a brood patch indicating breeding at the site, seven Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warblers all of which were un-ringed and two Graceful Prinias. We also caught a bird I was not 100% certain of its identity and will post details of this and photos in a few days time, making a total of 22 birds of six species. By 11:00 bird activity had dropped off as the temperature rose so we packed up and went home. This site is proving much better than Alba Marsh in Bahrain where we have ringed previously with more birds caught although the species mix appears slightly less?
Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Savi's Warbler
Savi's Warbler
Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler
Graceful Prinia

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