19 November 2014

Good ringing catch – Sabkhat Al Fasl

On Friday 14 November we went ringing again at Sabkhta Al Fasl and as the wind was very light and we had a few more nets to put up we were hopeful of catching a few more birds than normal. This locality is a reed bed with interspersed areas of low tamarisk growing from sabkha and most birds caught are reed bed dwellers as would be expected. Normally we set six nets but this time we put up nine including two 12 metre double shelf nets hoping to catch a few Water Pipits and White Wagtails that are very difficult to catch in the large nets, as they can see them too easily. Both these species are winter visitors to Saudi Arabia and are just arriving in good numbers now. The mornings ringing turned out to be the best yet at the site with 32 birds caught including two Water Pipits a new ringing species for us in Saudi Arabia and five Bluethroats including a smart male Red-spotted bird most of which were caught in the two panel nets. We also caught five Common Chiffchaffs, three Graceful Prinias, one late Great Reed Warbler, one House Sparrow and plenty of Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warblers. One of the Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warblers was a re-trap of the very first bird we ringed in Saudi Arabia in February 2014 and was caught in almost the same place where it was originally ringed 270 days after its first capture. Other re-traps included three more Indian Reed Warblers and a Bluethroat all of which had been ringed this autumn in the last two months. It will be a few weeks before we are back at the site ringing but when we are we will try some new nets and new positions to help maximize our trapping success. As the Water Pipit and White Wagtail numbers build up over the winter we will hopefully be able to catch a few with the new double panel nets.
Red-spotted Bluethroat
Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler
Common Chiffchaff
Graceful Prinia
Great Reed Warbler
Water Pipit