27 April 2014

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler a new ringing species – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Whilst ringing at Sabkhat Al Fasl over the weekend of 18 April I caught an unusual pale looking warbler. It looked like an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler but appeared small and seemed to have the wrong tertial spacing for that species. Thoughts then turned to Booted Warbler but as we can get both of the former Booted Warbler species, Booted Warbler and Sykes’s Warbler, with Sykes’s probably more likely as they occur in the mangroves just north of Jubail. We took all the measurements and they appeared too big for Booted Warbler but we had no details of Sykes’s Warbler. Measurements did fit for Eastern Olivaceous Warbler so we tentatively put it down as that species. When I got home I sent an e-mail and photos to Yoav Perlman and very experienced ringer from Israel and he kindly told me it was an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler a new ringing species for me. This species is a common migrant to all areas of Saudi Arabia and is a summer breeder in varying numbers. I have only see the species once at Sabkhat Al Fasl before although they are common on my local ‘patch’ 125 kilometres south of Jubail.