Archives for: May 2009

2009-05-31

Survey of Ras Mattala, SE Coast

On Saturday, Major Abdulla and I took a two hour hike down to the sandbar known as Ras Mattala (Ras Al Mamtalah). This site is now off limits to the general public and access requires a special permit. It is many years since the site was surveyed, previous information dating back to the late seventies when Trevor Hallam ringed hundreds of White-cheeked terns there over several years.
We recorded 200+ Socotra Cormorants (approximately 50% juveniles), 19 Kentish plover (no chicks seen), 2 Slender-billed gulls, a single Osprey and only 26 White-cheeked terns (no nests).
It would appear that this population of terns has all but disappeared. Most of the sandbar is at the hightide line and little or no vegetation was found. It may now become completely innundated during the lunar hightide, though we have no precise evidence to support this.
I was given access to Trevor Hallam's ringing data by the BTO and we cannot see how these numbers can be achieved nowadays based on our recent survey. The decline in the population is unlikely to be due to disturbance as the area is still off limits to the public. We can only conclude that natural phenomena are responsible for the changes. A second visit is planned in late June.

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2009-05-29

Breeding Terns

On Sunday evening as the temperature was dropping, Abdulla and I gained acces to the 'Northern New Town', a vast area of reclaimed land on the northwest side of Bahrain. Building hasn't started yet so the area is virtually undisturbed. Breeding Terns, including Saunder's little tern and White-cheeked terns are nesting there and Kentish plover chicks are also on the ground.
We ringed 10 Kentish Plover and 5 Saunders's little tern chicks and recorded nesting White-cheeked terns with eggs and empty nests freshly started. We managed to cover the western and northern shores before the sun set and hope to complete the ringing and survey work along the remainder this weekend.



Saunders's little tern chick


Saunder's little tern nest
Saunders's little tern nest


White-cheeked tern nest
White-cheeked tern nest, fresh with only one egg laid

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2009-05-06

Hugh spring fall through Labour day weekend

Permalink 20:22:47, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

Interesting birds caught this last weekend south of Al Jazair Beach on the western shore. Brendan is away this week but will edit in his comments later.


(ALSO READ THIS http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=1629
and this http://www.bto.org/ringing/centenary/index.htm )

Rufous Bushchat
Rufous Bushchat

Rufous Bushchat

Rufous Bushchat

Whitethroat
Whitethroat

Whitethroat

Rock Thrush
Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush

Redstart Female
Redstart Female

Redstart Female

Redstart male
Redstart male

Redstart male

Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler

Reed Warbler

Willow Warbler
Three birds shown here each with varying degrees of yellow
One
Willow Warbler

Two
Willow Warbler

Three
Willow Warbler

Upchers Warbler
note the molt(wear) emargination on the wings and tertial distances

Upchers Warbler

Upchers Warbler

Upchers Warbler

Upchers Warbler

Upchers Warbler

Upchers Warbler

Bird two
Upchers Warbler

Upchers Warbler

Upchers Warbler

Upchers Warbler

Upchers Warbler

Redbacked Shrike
Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike
#
NOTE - the difference in the tail markings between these two birds
Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Nightingale
Nightingale

Nightingale

Nightingale

Nightingale

Nightingale

Nightingale

Nightingale

Nightingale

Blackcap female
Blackcap female

Blackcap female

Barred Warbler
Barred Warbler

Barred Warbler

Barred Warbler

Barred Warbler

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