26 Feb 2015

First spring Caspian Reed and Sedge Warblers – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Nicole, Harald and I went ringing at Sabkhat Al Fasl for the first time in three weeks as the wind has been too strong recently to ring. We caught mostly the same birds as migration is only just starting but we did catch our first migrant Caspian Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers. Both these species have arrived early this year with the first Caspian Reed Warblers heard in late January. Sedge Warblers normally do not arrive until March so they are here earlier than expected. Both these species should be caught in larger numbers over the next few weeks until they peak in April. Other warblers caught include a few Common Chiffchaffs that will be declining in numbers over the next few weeks to be replaced by Willow Warblers and plenty of resident Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warblers that are singing in force for various places. Other birds caught included good numbers of Red-spotted Bluethroats, Common Kingfishers, a male Little Bittern, a Water Pipit and a Daurian Shrike. We caught a total of thirty birds during the mornings ringing and if we could work out a way of trapping the White Wagtails and Water Pipits that were around the nets in good number we could catch many more. The last two species can see the nets and fly over or around them and are only ever caught if flushed from close range into the nets and even then they normally avoid the nets.
Caspian Reed Warbler
Caspian Reed Warbler
Caspian Reed Warbler
Caspian Reed Warbler
Caspian Reed Warbler
Caspian Reed Warbler
Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler
Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler
Common Chiffchaff
Common Chiffchaff
Red-spotted Bluethroat - male
Red-spotted Bluethroat - male 
Little Bittern - male
Little Bittern - male
Little Bittern - male
Little Bittern - male

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