21 Jan 2018

First ringing trip of 2018 – Sabkhat Al Fasl

We went ringing on 12 January and caught 29 birds of 10 species including Common Kingfisher, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Little Bittern, Graceful Prinia, Red-spotted Bluethroat, Moustached Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, White-eared Bulbul, Water Pipit and Daurian Shrike. White-eared Bulbul was a new species for us at our ringing site, although birds are common in the region they are scarce at the site itself with birds only being seen in the last year suggesting they may be colonising the area. We set nets in the same locations each tip with some over water and other over land in rides between reed beds. We set and additional three nets along the edge of a reed bed as well as the normal ten nets we set every trip (11 x 18 metre and 2 x 15 metre). As normal, we arrived well before first light and set the nets during the hours of darkness. The best time for catching birds for us are the first couple of hours of day and this was the case this trip. We retrapped 11 birds including five Clamorous Reed Warbler, two Red-spotted Bluethroat, a Graceful Prinia and a Little Bittern. The Clamorous Reed Warblers were from as early as 23 September 2016 with the Bluethroats only trapped this winter. The Graceful Prinia was trapped in November 2017 and the Little Bitter in March 2017. The number of birds was less than normal as it was the middle of winter and the weather was very cold with temperatures in the morning only reaching 5 degrees Celsius. Normally we have to take care of birds overheating but it was the opposite this time with care needed to ensure the birds did not become too cold.
Common Chiffchaff
Common Chiffchaff
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher
Water Pipit
Water Pipit
Little Bittern
Little Bittern

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