5 Apr 2016

Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler singing - Jubail

Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler Acrocephalus (stentoreus) brunnescens was previously thought to be a rare winter visitor at Sabkhat Al Fasl (Symens & Suhaibani 1996), but since this time its status has changed significantly and it is now a common breeding resident with additional small numbers of passage birds seen. They have a very loud song that combines harsh grating and chattering sounds with more melodic notes and squeaks and is more often heard than seen staying out of sight in the dense vegetation. Sometimes birds climb to the top of reed stems and sing loudly, normally at the beginning of the breeding cycle that starts early in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia with one such bird photographed singing on 4 March with ringing data showing birds with brood patches occur from 27 March onwards. Worldwide it has a large range that extends from Northeast Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, through South and Southeast Asia to the Philippines, New Guinea and Australia. The species appears to have colonised the area around 1999 with most birds being fairly sedentary year-round although some local small-scale movements occur between breeding sites and presumably close by wintering areas. The population density appears to be very high at the site but there was no previous confirmation of numbers or movements. The large number of birds caught here suggested movement, at least locally, as birds caught in the early part of the year were not subsequently re-caught with new arrivals taking their place. We have trapped and ringed over 100 different birds and re-trapped 23, most within a week or two of original capture, although the first bird we caught at the site was retrapped two years later. We only ring in a small area of the site (400m x 300m) so this shows how many birds are present. It also appears there is at least some local movement, possibly within the site itself, as the number of re-traps are relatively low compared to the total number or birds ringed (22%).
Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler

Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler

Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler

Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler

Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler

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