14 April 2012

Siberian Stonechat – Alba Marsh (Bahrain)

Whilst ringing at Alba Marsh a couple of weekends ago (I just found out that I forgot to post these details) Brendan saw a male and female Siberian Stonechat of the sub-species maurus, in the short cut reed area to the side of where we normally set one of our 18 metre four panel nets. The water depth was too deep here to try to entice the birds into the net, but fortunately the female managed to enter the net of her own free will. This was a new ringing species for me and it was interesting to see the bird in the hand at close quarters. The rump appeared warmer in the hand but was completely unstreaked as would be expected. The white wing patch was also well developed on the bird.

Recently Stonechat has been split by many into three separate species, African Stonechat, European Stonechat (with sub-species rubicola & hibernans) & Siberian Stonechat (including maurus, variagatus, armenicus & stejnegeri).