Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Night surprise

Mistnets placed over water, especially at night, often produce surprises in the form of interesting or seldom ringed species. During my ringing sessions at Atlit saltpans, as part of the terns monitoring project, the nets produced a few species that I don't ring every day, such as Whimbrel or Broad-billed Sandpiper. Last ringing session's surprise was two Slender-billed Gulls; this is a common gull in Israel but rarely ringed and of course my first in the hand. Both were sub-adults in variable moult. In Israel only few SB Gulls have ever been ringed, most being rehabilitated birds. Nevertheless, we have six SB Gull controls, all Ukrainian birds found dead on the Israeli Mediterranean coast.