The migration is early this year and we are catching good numbers of chiffchaffs with the odd other species including menetries, Savi's and Eastern Orphean warblers.
This time last year we were waiting patiently for the migration to begin. This year on the other hand the first trickle of birds started in February. At the moment we have wheatears a plenty with northern, Isabelline and some desert wheatears passing through. Our winter visitors are still here though and the Alba Marsh has been netting some interesting retraps including a female clamorous reedwarbler with a well developed broodpatch. One of the more interesting retraps last weekend was a white spotted bluethroat which was first ringed in early January. If we had caught the bird for the first time last week we would have assumed it was an early migrant but considering it was ringed in early January we now know it was a winter visitor to Bahrain. The current belief is that these are passage migrants and very rare in the gulf but our ringing has turned that on its head. Regular ringing at Alba Marsh is revealing some interesting data.
Other notable birds ringed included a black redstart. Photographs are thanks to Howard and Jem.
Yellow wagtail (feldegg race)
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