Archives for: 2010

2010-12-11

Water Pipits then thee Small or Oriental Skylarks

Permalink 17:05:53, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project  

Brendan and the Girls had a good catch today of Water Pipits - good for the old training scheme allowing Brendan to relax and supervise - then in the whoosh net I had a small triumph. We have not been able to persuade many birds to enter the catching zone but today was the exception so along with some more Water Pipits I bagged three Skylarks - I was certain at least one was a Small or Oriental Skylark as happened on closer inspection all three turned out the same - a great catch our first here for the ringing project. One each for the ringers to handle.

The Team today - working on Water Pipits
The Team today

Small Skylarks or Oriental Alauda gulgula


Bird one
Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark
Bird Two
Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark
Bird Three
Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark

Small Skylark

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2010-12-01

Great birds from Abdulla

Permalink 17:09:08, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project  

Abdulla was busy this week and caught 2 new species for the ringing project. Unfortunately I was away in India and missed the action. He managed to get the photographs and hold the birds alone. Quite a feat for the long-legged buzzard.

Eversmann's Redstart, the first record this century!! last records relate to a small influx in 1990/91 of five birds.
Eversmann's Redstart

Eversmann's Redstart

Long-legged Buzzard. This bird is still at Ali farm despite the ringing disturbance
Long-legged Buzzard

Long-legged Buzzard

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2010-11-20

Catch of the day

Permalink 06:33:24 pm, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

This afternoon turned out to be a red letter day with the capture and ringing of a Sociable Lapwing. This is an endangered species and very little is known of their migration route in autumn. We saw 3 birds in Bahrain last autumn and now two juveniles this year so far. A ringed bird could shed light on the species movements.For more information on the Birdlife International Conservation Project go to http://www.birdlife.org/sociable-lapwing/2010/11/adventurers-arrive-in-the-gulf/

Sociable Plover
This is a juvenile bird on its maiden voyage south
Sociable Plover
The wing pattern is very distinctive.

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2010-11-18

Some good birds

Permalink 11:42:14, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project  

Brendan continues his ringing classes - all ladies today. Eleven species and twenty birds and what crackers they turned out to be. A Reed Bunting was the catch of the day, only our 5th record and the first since 1989. But for novelty value the Pin Tailed Wydah and Red Avadavat have to take the honours. The day was finished off with a Quail. More photos to come.

Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting

Red Avadavat
Red Avadavat

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2010-11-12

Wader ringing

Permalink 02:27:53 pm, Categories: additional photos  

With 5-6,000 waders roosting on the open ground at the northern end of Tubli Bay, ringing looked promising. Last week we tried a net for the first time. Being conservative to begin with we put up one 2 shelf 40 ft net and caught 12 birds. The second night we put up 2 4 shelf nets and caught 25 birds. The site looks really promising for the rest of the winter.
We also had two new helpers who were bitten by the bug! We may well have three new trainees at last, which bodes well for the future.


Nada and Thamir enjoying the occasion.


Terek Sandpiper, a new ringing tick for me!.

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2010-10-23

wheatears a plenty

Permalink 14:54:09, Categories: additional photos  

two lovely birds from Busaiteen amongst the many various Wheatears Abdullah has recently trapped
Red-tailed Wheatear
wheatear

wheatear

wheatear

Black-eared Wheatear
wheatear

wheatear

wheatear

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2010-10-11

Saudi Ringing

Permalink 03:19:14 pm, Categories: additional photos  

Last week Abdulla and I were in the south west of KSA in Raydah Reserve providing ringing training for Saudi Wildlife Commission Rangers. It was a fantastic opportunity to see some endemics of the region. The course participants were very committed and Mohammed Shobrak, who organised the programme, took some photos, see below.

Photo of some members of the group

Admiring the catch!

Brown woodland warbler , an endemic to Hawarat Mountain region of Yemen and Saudi

Yemen Linnet, another endemic

Yemen Thrush, endemic

Abyssinian White-eye, not an endemic but only found in Hawarat Mountains, Socotra and SW Oman within this region.

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2010-09-18

Autumn migration

Permalink 12:53:16 pm, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

The summer is over. The terns are gathering to head off to the arabian sea and the wheatears are coming to Bahrain in numbers now. We put up three nets this morning for the first time since early July. Apart from a few dozen sparrows we got three White-cheeked Bulbuls, a Graceful Prinia and an adult Rufous Bush Chat which was in primary moult prior to migrating south for the winter.
The autumn migration is always quieter than the spring time but it is still worth putting up the nets. The main focus over the coming month is Swallows at dusk and Pipits in October as they roost on the ground.

There are plenty of Isabelline wheatears to be caught in traps.

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2010-07-10

Jarim annual ringing visit

Permalink 13:44:45, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project  

After wasting last weekend due to bad weather trying to access the islands of Jarim north of Manama we finally made a successful trip ringing 514 Lesser Crested Terns

the team
team

Brendan

the Chicks
null

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2010-06-05

24 occupied nests

Permalink 09:47:50 pm, Categories: additional photos  

Todays visit to the southern sector of the island proved more productive than expected. We surveyed several of the soft sandy valleys which contained broom shrubs and counted 24 occupied turtle dove nests and about 20 empty nests some with evidence of successful fledging. We managed to ring 5 chicks but most of the nests contain eggs. Probably second broods so the weeks ahead should see us ringing many more chicks, inshalla.


recently fledged turtle dove chicks.

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2010-06-02

Breeding Turtle Doves

Permalink 01:07:46 pm, Categories: additional photos  

Over the weekend Abdulla got word of breeding turtle doves in the southern part of the island. He managed to get down there on Tuesday and discovered 4 active nests, two with 2 eggs each and two with 2 chicks each. He managed to ring one of the oldest chicks in one nest. The second bird scrambled in the thick of the desert broom,Leptadenia pyrotechnica, bush in which the nest was built. This is the first confirmed record of breeding turtle doves in a long time. We hope to return to the site over this weekend to ring the younger chicks.


One of the turtle dove nests with eggs


These turtle dove chicks should be ready to ring on the weekend


Abdulla ringed this chick yesterday!

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2010-05-28

Migration end

Permalink 03:54:52 pm, Categories: additional photos  

With the migration over we are now turning our attention to terns and Kentish Plover. Little terns are almost finished breeding but White-cheeked and Saunders' are just laying now. Plans are afoot to visit Al Jarrim islands on 18th June, Sheik Ebrahim island on the 25th June and hopefully to get access to Muntalla on the south west of the island again soon.
The best news this month however is Abdulla getting his C licence. He is the first in Bahrain and the middle east to get qualified under the British Trust for Ornithology ringing scheme and I expect he will advance to an A licence next year. Congratulations Abdulla!!!


The stonechats wintering in Bahrain are of the race 'maura'. They are up in siberia breeding by now!!


Kentish Plover chick

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2010-04-04

Pallid Harriers caught

Permalink 09:16:55 pm, Categories: additional photos  

We have been watching Pallid Harriers at Alifarm for the past few weeks. Two weeks ago I spotted one going to roost in the high grass and Abdulla, armed with the landing net, managed to bag it. Then yesterday evening while attempting to trap a sparrowhawk, the juvenile Pallid Harrier below got caught instead. A first for both Abdulla and myself.


Please excuse the rice bag!

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2010-02-19

First chicks of the year

Permalink 01:07:23 pm, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

The breeding season of palm doves is well underway and others including graceful prinia and crested larks are laying. When I came in for lunch today, the bird below was resting on my window. Before it appeared I heard what I thought was a warbler contact call. However as I watched this guy he called. It was him and not a warbler. Needless to say he now has a ring!!

Palmdove

We opened two 60ft nets for a few hours and only caught one bird. However it was the first of the migration season and is Abdulla's favourite warbler. A female Blackcap!

Permalink

2010-01-31

Waiting patiently for the migrants

Permalink 09:52:44 pm, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project  

It's hard to resist putting up nets even though we don't catch much in January. On Friday we put 2 sixty foot nets in the fruit trees while the workers were spraying for insects. At first sight we were disappointed but two nice birds popped into the nets.


This is the first record of a Robin here since December 2003. This one was a bird born last year. Note the light tips on the greater coverts. The blue/grey colour around the red breast pattern is more obvious than that seen on Irish birds.

robin

While song thrushs are regular winter visitors, we don't catch many as they tend to fly high and drop into their roost sites from the air. The song thrushes we get here are far more agressive than their more timid cousins in Ireland. Their markings are also more pronounced. This bird was also born last year, the rosethorn pattern on the greater coverts clearly visible in the hand.

Thrush

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