Thursday, 17 February 2011

Spring and other recent events

On Tuesday (15/02) I caught a Cetti's Warbler with a brood patch! It's my first this spring and definitely very early. Spring is here! Other signs of spring from last week are Swifts, Barn Swallows and House Martins in the sky. More and more Whitethroats are ringed and the wintering White Wagtails complete their pre-breeding moult and will soon start heading north.

Cetti's Warbler

Another note from Tzor'a ringing station 2010 summary: We had 1269 local retraps, out of which 341 were birds ringed before 2010, some in multiple years. These birds represent 1.2% of the birds ringed in 2004-2009. This graph shows the distribution of the older retraps by their ringing year. The oldest bird recaptured in 2010 was a Clamorous Reed-Warbler that was ringed on my first ringing session at Tzor'a valley in October 2004. The most recaptured species was Cetti's Warbler: 139 individuals produce 234 retraps!

Earlier this week I was took part in a very interesting ringing session. We went ringing at Hameyshar Plains in the southern Negev. Our mission was to study the Thick-billed Lark (Ramphocoris clotbey). It was a very successful day, as expected from our high effort - 50 mist nets (!). We ringed 17 Thick-billed Larks, 1 Tawny Pipit, 2 Isabelline Wheatears, 1 Asian Desert Warbler and 1 Whitethroat. Yoav Perlman and myself summarized the results in a short article (see here), thanks to Yoav and the rest of the team.

Thick-billed Lark - male


Asian Desert Warbler