21 September 2012

Great & Clamorous Reed Warblers - Ringing at Alba Marshes (Bahrain)

The ringing situation has changed slightly over the summer with Brendan moving back to Ireland from Bahrain. He remains our trainer and is keeping a close watch on what we are doing but, unfortunately for us, he will not physically be present. Luckily Nicole became a qualified C ringer over the summer and now and I can go ringing with her as well as Abdullah who is also a C ringer, although will soon be an A ringer. Brendan kindly left us some of his rings and equipment to use whilst Nicole is getting all her ringing equipment sorted out. It seems like a long time ago I last went ringing as I have not been able to go to Bahrain over the last few weeks as the families passports and Iqamas (residents permit) were away being renewed. I only got them back on 19th September and as a result arranged at very short notice with Nicole to go ringing at Alba Marshes. We started out very early at 04:30 hrs from Dhahran so we could have most of the nets up early to try to catch the first moving birds. We set four mist nets up which proved to be quite successful although only two of the four nets caught birds. As this was Nicole and my first ringing trip without Brendan it turned out to be quite successful with no issues noted although we certainly missed knowledge and skill. We were obviously a bit slower than when Brendan was about and more searching in Svensson was required for a couple of tricky birds, more of which will be posted later, but it was very enjoyable and worthwhile.

Great Reed Warbler
Great Reed Warbler - head
Great Reed Warbler - wing
Clamorous Reed Warbler - head
Clamorous Reed Warbler - wing
Clamorous Reed Warbler - fault bars on tail

We both needed to be back in Saudi Arabia for the afternoon so closed the nets up by 10:00 hrs, when it was getting too hot anyway, and had a total catch of ten birds including five species of which two were ringing ticks for me and one was a ringing tick for Nicole.