Archives for: March 2009, 29

2009-03-29

Good weekend ringing

Permalink 08:58:52 pm, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project  

This weekend saw lots of birds stopping off on migration. We caught 12 birds in traps on Friday, ringed juvenile Palm Dove, Crested lark and Kentish Plover, and caught 22 birds on Saturday including two 'Southern Grey Shrikes'. We are confident that we have two different races of southern shrike passing through Bahrain. The typical southern grey with pink on the flanks and a white wing bar on the upper primaries, and a steppe grey which is grey, black and white and has an extensive white inner web on the secondaries in addition to the white on the upper primary. Current wisdom suggests that these are two races of southern grey shrike and that great greys do not occur in the middle east. Pics Howard King

Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis pallidirostris. We are currently collecting feathers and photographs in addition to biometric data of the birds we catch and intend using DNA barcoding of the Middle Eastern birds to try to shed more light on the Lanius complex on this side of their range.

Southern Grey Shrike

Southern Grey Shrike

Southern Grey Shrike

Southern Grey Shrike

Southern Grey Shrike

Southern Grey Shrike

Southern Grey Shrike

When I took this Chiffchaff out of the net I assumed it was our first Willow Warbler of the season. However there was no obvious emargination on the 6th primary but the 2nd Primary length of 6/7 suggests it is a chiff. The chiffchaffs we catch here have a smaller tarsus, a longer wing, a longer bill (skull) and often weigh lighter than the western European birds. We are still waiting on our first willow warbler!

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Of 16 Chiffchaff caught this one stood out. Its head was much more rounded than the other individuals and the colour was very washed out.

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

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