Archives for: June 2006

2006-06-22

First Summer Terns Ringed

Permalink 08:57:03, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project  

Major Abdulla had telephoned me in the week to report that he had observed a small colony of White-cheeked Terns on the reclaimed area in front of the Alba aluminium smelter. Brendan, Abdulla and myself checked this out Wednesday (21st) afternoon. Given that the area is still very active, the least likely place one would look for breeding terns and also full of wild dogs we were pleasantly surprised to find close to a hundred pairs breeding in this area. Many active nests were located with either one or two eggs, and in one nest a newly hatched chick. Around the area many used or abandoned nests were also found and with over fifty screaming and dive-bombing terns above our heads it was obvious that the area contained many hidden chicks. Initially we searched the scattered vegetation without success but along the garbage-strewn coastline we were able to find and consequently ring 13 White-cheeked tern Chicks. The chicks proved difficult to find sitting still often on the actual waters edge, incredibly well camouflaged amongst the flotsam and jetsam.

A Little/Saunders’ Tern was seen in the area being hounded by the White-cheeked when it headed of inshore a short distant we followed in a forlorn hope to locate its nest, it disappeared into the industrial area of a sand washing plant. The gods were smiling on us however as our short journey led us straight to the nests of two pairs of breeding Western Reef Heron. Three well-developed nearly fully-fledged chicks scampered out from the thicket and were easily taken in hand and ringed.
heron chick
In the other nest in complete contrast, were two what appeared to be freshly hatched chicks. This nest will be monitored and the chicks ringed when large enough to handle.

newly hatched reef heron chicks
A satisfying afternoon recce.

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