09 May 2014

Best ringing catch yet – Sabkhat Al Fasl

A very early ringing trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl on 2 May produced our best catch yet at the site. When we arrived in was quite windy and if we had only travelled a short distance we probably would have turned around and gone home. As we had gone 135 kilometres to reach the site we thought we should at least put up a couple of nets and see what happened. We tried to place the nets behind and very close to large reed beds to try to mitigate the wind and this proved very successful in the end. At the end of the mornings ringing we had caught 39 birds of eight species including a new species for Saudi Arabia in Common Whitethroat. Most birds caught were Willow Warblers and Caspian Reed Warblers with eleven birds each, with six Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warblers and four Great Reed Warblers. Also caught were a male and female Little Bittern, three Sedge Warblers, a Common Whitethroat and a Graceful Prinia. Out of all the birds we caught we had only one re-trap of an Indian Reed Warbler caught two weeks before at the same location. Breeding was proved again for Caspian Reed Warbler, Little Bittern, Indian Reed Warbler and Graceful Prinia with birds with brood patches seen for all these species.
Caspian Reed Warbler
Great Reed Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Common Whitethroat
Little Bittern - female
Little Bittern - male