15 April 2014

A good catch of Warblers – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Nicole and I went ringing again at Sabkhat Al Fasl at the weekend of 11 April and caught a good bag (for us) of warblers. There were few birds about although a good number of singing Eurasian (Caspian) Reed Warblers. We set all five of our nets but moved one to a new location in between tamarisk and reed beds to try to catch and stray migrant warblers that were not dependent on reeds. This net turned out to be the best of all and in total we caught 27 birds including nine Sedge Warblers, two Little Bitterns, three Caspian Reed Warblers, seven Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warblers, one Great Reed Warbler, two Willow Warblers and one Central Asian (Desert) Lesser Whitethroat. Although we had caught all the species before at Alba Marsh in Bahrain, it was surprising the number of Sedge Warblers we caught as we only caught a very small number in Bahrain. Another surprise was that we caught a European (Caspian) Reed Warbler with a brood patch showing the bird was breeding at the site. We caught lots in Bahrain but never showing any signs of breeding. Other birds caught with brood patches included three Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warblers and a Little Bittern. All these species have been recorded as breeding birds at Sabkhat Al Fasl before but these are good records especially the Reed Warbler. One of the last birds we caught was a bird showing characteristics of a Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat, which was a very nice record. The Great Reed Warbler we caught was a very large bird as can be seen from the below photo where it is side by side with an Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler.
Little Bittern - male
Little Bittern - female
Great Reed Warbler
Great Reed Warbler (left) & Indian Reed Warbler (Right)
Eurasian (Caspian) Reed Warbler
Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat
Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat