3 Dec 2016

Caspian Reed Warblers trapped and ringed - Jubail

Whilst ringing at Jubail in mid to late November we trapped and ringed two Caspian (Eurasian) Reed Warbler A. s. fuscus. This species is a common passage migrant and uncommon breeding species seen from early February to May and late July to early November in Saudi Arabia. The species has been proposed as being resident in the Eastern Province but this is not borne out by our ringing data, where we only caught birds during migration and the summer months. Birds were first seen at the site on 31 January when six singing birds were seen and numbers increased over the next three months. All birds trapped and ringed were Caspian Reed Warbler A. s. fuscus with DNA samples confirming the identification. Small reed warblers with wing lengths as small as 61mm have been noted in Israel and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia as well as Bahrain. These birds have in the past been confused for Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum due to their short wing length. We have also caught Reed Warblers with short wing lengths of 61mm on 2 May 2014 and one with a wing length of 60 mm on 10 April 2015 and it would be interesting to find out where these birds originate from as presumably they are not Caspian Reed Warblers but a different subspecies?
Caspian (Eurasian) Reed Warbler

Caspian (Eurasian) Reed Warbler

Caspian (Eurasian) Reed Warbler

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