a few birds from the western shore

Permalink 14:59:03, Categories: additional photos  

Menetreis Warbler
Menetreis Warbler


Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler



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



Buff-bellied Pipit

Permalink 02:55:51 pm, Categories: Bahrain Banding Project, additional photos  

When myself and Jem were ringing at Alba Marsh on Friday last we caught an unusual pipit. It looked superficially like a meadow pipit but since it was caught over water we decided to put an A2 (hard metal) ring on it as we do with water pipits. Jem photographed it after he finished processing it. Neither of us paid much attention to the bird at the time. On returning to Saudi and further examining the photographs Jem emailed me some of the photographs for an opinion. I compared the morphological measurements with the meadow (45 birds) and Tree pipit (8 birds) data from Bahrain. It was clearly too big for meadow and only fitted tree pipit in some measurements. It left us in some doubt or further confused. Jem then looked at alternatives and took out the Pipits and Wagtails Guide. In addition he put the photographs up on a website to see what other birders thought. Buff-bellied Pipit came out of the ether!! Pipit experts and web photographs plus the morphological data all point to this species. If it is accepted it will be a first record for Bahrain and a new species for the ringing programme.
These are some photographs of the bird in question.






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