20 Mar 2015

White-spotted & Red-spotted Bluethroats trapped and ringed - Sabkhat Al Fasl


Whilst ringing at Sabkhat Al Fasl on Friday 13 March we caught a male White-spotted Bluethroat Luscinia svecica cyanecula which is a scarce passage migrant to the region, unlike the Red-spotted Bluethroat Luscinia svecica svecica which winters in good numbers. This is the first time we have caught this subspecies in Saudi Arabia. The White-spotted Bluethroat breeds locally in central & southern Europe wintering mainly in west & central Africa with a few in the Middle East (mainly Israel) and north-east Africa. Identification of the Bluethroat sub-species is very difficult unless you see a male in breeding plumage. As a result many birds seen in the winter months are indeterminate as to sub-species so unless you re-catch a bird in the spring that was caught in the winter it is not generally possible to tell if White-spotted Bluethroats winter in Saudi Arabia. We did catch a White-spotted Bluethroat in Bahrain in March that had originally been caught in the winter showing that bird at least did winter in Bahrain that year and it will be interesting to see if we can prove they winter in Saudi Arabia as well as we re-catch a few Bluethroats each winter that winter at the site and re-caught on this year that wqs originally ringed by us in winter 2013-14.
White-spotted Bluethroat
White-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat

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