Archives for: May 2007


End of migration in sight

Permalink 06:35:21 am, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

An evening session at Badaan yesterday caused us to ponder a potential terminal point for the period or occurrence on passage of some species passing through Bahrain. The migration regarded as the "Spring" in terms of a European time frame has slowed to a crawl. The fields are largely bare of migrants leaving our resident species more visible than usual; however a few species including possibly even some sub species of others thought to have all ready passed continue to be observed and even netted. Yesterday three Garden Warblers in our nets if added to the glut of others recently trapped indicate that for this species, May is their main period of passage. The Orioles seen last week that were present in good numbers have now disappeared; having first arrived around the end of April mid May represents the terminal date for their occurrence in the spring. The Roller and Cuckoo seen last week had gone but observations of both these species have been prolonged and spread over the last few months. Last week we had a flush of Reed Warblers none this week or the week before, is this indicative of possibly a very short period for their movement through. Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff were both observed in good numbers last weekend however only a few fleeting glances yesterday of a few remaining birds gave note that they would not be seen again till autumn. However being some of the earliest species to arrive are these late comers a different population or sub species to those that passed before. With the variations between many sub species only slight, often with separation identifiable only in the hand, it is possible our and similar ringing campaigns in the Middle East will be able to determine and identify positively the species involved and provide the missing links to answer these questions.



Terns season well under way

Permalink 08:34:47, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

Brendan, Major Abdulla and I spent a few hours in the evening light chasing down birds mostly Terns breeding in and around the industrial wasteland that passes for Askar. The Saunders's Terns we found were at different phases of their season, we found four nests with a single egg, one small chick, and observed serveral flully fledged chicks.(Follow link May 20th for further images)
saunders's tern nest and eggSaunders's Tern chick

The White-cheeked terns on the other hand, close to fifty pairs breed in this area, were either about to or had laid their eggs in their shallow often decorated nest scraps.
White-cheeked Tern nest and eggsWhite-cheeked Tern nest and eggs

White-cheeked Tern
Elsewhere in the desert behind Alba smeltar thanks to Abdulla's nifty eyesight we were able to find and ring two Crested Lark chicks still in the nest, and observe another nest with four eggs.
White-cheeked Tern



Migration slacking off

Permalink 08:24:24 am, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project  

Things are definately getting slower however the nets continue to deliver some intersting birds - A Red-backed Shrike, Garden, Reed and a very late Barred Warbler being amongst the highlights. Plus some interesting retraps of locally breeding Olivaceous Warbler some 6 weeks on from our first encounter. For some additional photographs follow link to May 18 - 19 for this weekends efforts.

Red-backed Shrike
Red-backed Shrike


Garden Warbler

Garden Warbler8




Permalink 07:41:14, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project  

Little and Saunders's Terns are well into there breeding season with some chicks already fully fledged. White-cheeked, Bridled and Lesser Crested Terns are about to start mostly likely as the tidal range decreases over the coming month and the shallows sees a surge in bait fish shoals. White-cheeked particularly, nest very close and even on the floatsum line and hence can't risk tidal inudation as would be the case at the moment.
Walking any beach line be it natural or reclaimed land at the moment, one has to be very careful where one puts a foot. Tern chicks and nests are randomly scattered all over the place.
Saunders's Tern Chick
Saunders's Tern Chick Sterna Saundersi
to view more images for this species follow link to May 16th photos to the right



The 13th a lucky day

Permalink 10:07:33, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project  

We only decided to go ringing last evening at the last moment, it turned out to be a good choice. I arrived at Badaan first and dropped the nets, when I returned to the first Brendan was there glowing like an expectant father , he had just taken a European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus out of the first net, closely followed by a Nightingale, a Garden and Reed Warbler. With less than a few weeks to the end of what we think of as the main migration period we were as you would expect delighted with our efforts - 7 birds, seven species. Additional photographs of the evenings efforts can be found by following the link in the side column.

European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus

European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus

Garden Warbler
Garden Warbler Sylvia borin



Passage continues but species changing

Permalink 08:54:44, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project  

These week good numbers of migrant birds continue to arrive and pass, but the species involved is changing all the time. Nightingales continue to pass and be trapped in good numbers since they first arrive a month ago, but many small warblers like Lesser Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and Willow warblers have disappeared to be replaced by Reed Warblers, Spotted Flycatchers and Whitethroats.
Many locally breeding species are busy in their various breeding cycles with some like Crested Lark even ready for the next brood having successfully reared the first. To view the all recent project (in hand) Photos follow links in right column under Ringing project Photos

Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus

Spotted FlyCatcher
Spotted FlyCatcher Muscicapa striata

Whitethroat Sylvia communis
Mynah Acridotheres tristis


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