Post details: An evening at Ras Al-Mamtalah

2009-07-22

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


WCTern

Abdulla hard at work surrounded by terns

Abdulla

Sunset at Mamtalah

sunset

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