Category: Bahrain Banding Project


Alba Marsh continues to produce birds

Permalink 09:32:46 pm, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

We have continued to ring most weekends at Alba Marsh and some interesting birds keep turning up. The best bird to date was a retrap of a clamorous reed warbler ringed in Qatar (90 km away) and breeding in the marsh. The best new species however was a spotted crake ringed by myself just recently.


Spotted Crake


Isabelline Shrikes are coming through on mass at the moment.



Busy time for migration

Permalink 10:58:42 am, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

I have been away and also very busy since my return but Abdulla has been ringing almost daily. His favourite spot is a tiny copse of bushes in the desert west of Alba which seems to be a magnet for migrants. The area is no more than quarter of an acre with about 10 trees each no more than 10 feet tall. The centre has a perfect net ride for a 60 foot net. He rings me each day with the latest catch numbers. This tiny site has yielded over 300 birds over the past two spring seasons! Below are two shots of interesting catches.


This double of White-throated robins was interesting, the male on the left being totally washed out compared to the one on the right. This year has been a great season for White-throated robins. We have caught 11 over the past few weeks.

A hand full of Scops Owls is a sight to see and a challenge to hold! Three in one evening must be a record!



Orphean Warblers are coming

Permalink 08:24:50 pm, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

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.


Eastern Orphean Warbler

Northern wheatear



Migration is early this year

Permalink 09:32:23 pm, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

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.


Male Bluethroat (cyanecula race)

Yellow wagtail (feldegg race)

Black redstart


Northern wheatear



First migrants arriving

Permalink 09:21:14 pm, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

The first trickle of migration has just begun to appear with the drop in the winds. Shrikes, hoopoes and pipits are showing and the first migrant chiffchaffs are calling. We trapped two shrikes at Alifarm on Saturday.


Woodchat shrike

Southern Grey shrike


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