29 Mar 2015

Little Tern a new ringing species – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Whilst ringing at Sabkhat Al Fasl we caught a new ringing species for Saudi Arabia for our site as well as for me. The bird was caught in a mist net place in a relatively open area inform of a small reed bed and over a small area of water made larger by the overnight rain. To say it was a surprise would be an understatement as catching terns in mist nets is not common. The bird was identified as a Little tern by the white area above the eye extending behind the eye, saunder’s Tern stops in front of the eye. The grey rump of Saunder’s Tern is quite extensive, and this bird had an almost white rump again indicating Little Tern. The outer two primaries were dark another Little Tern feature with Saunders have three outer primaries dark. Both these species are seen in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia but most birds seen at Sabkhat Al Fasl by me at least are Little Terns with this one fitting the pattern nicely. Little Tern was the 29 species trapped and ringed at Sabkhat Al Fasl since we started ringing at the location in February 2014. This total does not include Siberian Chiffchaff and White-spotted Bluethroat two birds that are sometimes treated as species but more commonly as subspecies of Common Chiffchaff and Red-spotted Bluethroat respectively.
Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

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