Archives for: July 2009


An evening at Ras Al-Mamtalah

Yesterday afternoon Abdulla and I went to Ras Al-Mamtalah to check for White-cheeked tern chicks. He had observed nesting there last month. There was good and bad news. The high tide now covers all but the tips of the sandbar and eggs were scattered far and wide having been washed away by the tide. The colony is broken into three sections, two of which were devoid of chicks. However the middle section which is ever so slightly higher than the rest, had good numbers. We managed to ring 62 chicks. It has been almost 30 years since Trevor Hallam ringed terns here ably assisted by Tom Nightingale. We poised to enjoy the sense of occasion as we watched the sunset.
The birds in the two sections which had no chicks had relaid. We counted 120 nests in the most northern section and a further 43 nests in the southern section. It was a little difficult to establish whether or not some nests were still viable as so many eggs were scattered about. The total conservative count was 163 occupied nests and 62 chicks ringed giving an estimated 225 - 250 pairs. This is confirmed by the rough count of adults roosting as we left.

White-cheeked tern chick


Abdulla hard at work surrounded by terns


Sunset at Mamtalah




Jarrim Trip 2 2009

Permalink 04:24:00 pm, Categories: additional photos, Breeding Atlas  

On Saturday last we took our second trip to Al Jarrim islands to ring bridled terns. The team comprised Ali, the Boat man, his friend Bassam, Douglas McGarvey, a new ringing recruit and myself. It was the first outing for Douglas who responded very well to some on the hoof training. Himself and Ali plucked 76 chicks from the thorns. Ali did the plucking and Doug did the ringing!
Bassam took over as photographer and parttime plucker with me. We managed to ring 67 birds. The photographs below were taken by Bassam.

Doug getting a crash course in fitting C2 rings


The numbers of chicks are up this year compared to last year confirming the estimate of breeding pairs on the 1st visit in June this year.
Bridled tern chick
Bridled tern chick

Ali and Doug busy at work

Ali and Doug team

Ali and doug
Ali has been with us for three years now and is a key part of the operation. No bush is too big or too thorny for him!


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