02 May 2012

Ringing at Al Ali Farm – Bahrain

We went ringing at Al Ali Farm in the afternoon last weekend. I had only been ringing at this site once before and it looks like a great site. There are plenty of tall trees, shrubs and open fields and a lot of birds where about. In the trees we set three nets hoping to catch Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin and Common Redstart which were seen in good numbers as we were setting up the nets. We also hoped we could catch a few Ortolan buntings in the grass field as Brendan and Nicole had caught 21 birds there the weekend before in one attempt. As it turned out most of the Ortolan Buntings had moved on and plenty of House Sparrows were in the fields along with a number of Daurian Shrikes and Turkestan Shrikes. Abdulla came for an hour and hoped to catch a Lesser Grey Shrike that he had seen but it evaded the trap and was not caught. We did manage to catch a few Daurian and Turkestan Shrikes in the mist nets, where they were mostly caught chasing other birds.
Common Redstart - male

Common Redstart - male (left) & female (right)

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin - tail pattern

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin

We caught a number of species that I had not ringed before and Nicole also ringed a few new species. The new ones for me were Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Common Redstart, Thrush Nightingale, Whinchat, Great Reed Warbler and Crested Lark. Nicoles new species were Great Reed Warbler, Upher’s Warbler and Red-backed Shrike. It was a really good afternoons ringing and there were plenty of birds to extract from the nets, with me getting almost all the shrikes to extract one of which was particularly aggressive, but no blood was drawn. We only caught two Ortolan Buntings but managed about 100 House Sparrows all of which we released without ringing.
Red-backed Shrike - male

Red-backed Shrike - male

Thrush Nightingale

Ortolan Bunting

We caught 41 birds of which I ringed 21 and Nicole ringed 20. These include fifteen different species, 18 Willow Warblers, four Common Redstarts, three Turkestan Shrikes, two Great Reed Warblers, two Chiffchaffs, two Ortolan Buntings, two Rufous-tailed Scrub Robins, one Graceful Prinia, one Upcher’s Warbler, one Daurian Shrike, one Whinchat, one Red-backed Shrike, one Thrush Nightingale, one Crested Lark and one Barred Warbler. We ringed from 14:15 hrs until 19:30 hrs when it was completely dark.