31 May 2012

Two new ringing ticks - Alba Marsh (Bahrain)

I went ringing again at Alba Marsh with Brendan at the weekend and we had a reasonably successful time. We were joined by Abdulla for some of the time as well, which is always nice. We set up three nets this weekend as the weather was slightly cooler than the weekend before and we did not feel so drained after putting up the first two. We caught 13 birds including two Kentish Plover Chicks and five Reed Warblers as posted previously. We also caught a very young juvenile Clamorous Reed Warbler, that appeared to be just out of the nest. This bird combined with the fact we have caught the same adult Clamorous Reed Warbler (originally ringed in Qatar) with a similar brood patch both times suggests that the first young have already left the nest and a second cycle of breeding is currently underway.

Clamorous Reed Warbler (Juvenile) - Photo by Brendan Kavenagh

Clamorous Reed Warbler (Juvenile) - Photo by Brendan Kavenagh
Other birds caught included two House Sparrows, one adult female Little Bittern and a Sand Martin. Both the Little Bittern and Sand Martin were new ringing species for me so I was very pleased. We caught both birds just as it was getting dark. We had taken down one net and Brendan suggested we leave the other two nets up until we had taken some of the equipment back to the cars. This turned out to be a good idea as, as we were walking out I saw a Little Bittern fly into a small Tamarisk bush. I pointed it out to Brendan and on the way out it flew and ended up flying straight into one of our nets. I have never seen Brendan move as fast as he did getting to this bird and it was safely extracted from the nets. We then went back to close the remaining two nets and a Sand Martin, which had been gathering in numbers to roost in the reeds was caught in one of the nets making a fine end to and enjoyable evening ringing.
Little Bittern (adult female) - Photo by Brendan Kavenagh