Monday, 28 November 2011

From autumn to winter within a week

After last week that was exceptionally rainy, I was eagerly waiting for the first sunny days; those post-storm days often result in many migrants knocked down to the ground. I ringed at the Tzor'a Valley Ringing Station between Sunday and Tuesday (20-22/11) and indeed I was not disappointed. The area was very wet with fresh grass. At first I got very wet from the last shower on Sunday morning, but the continuation was nice and dry. On Sunday and Monday mornings at the reservoir I ringed 120 and 140 birds respectively. Total of those three days was 444 birds; these were nice autumn days. I returned to the area on Friday and discovered that winter suddenly settled, with a minor catch of only 56 birds. In winter most populations are rather sedentary, and that was the case on Friday: most birds were recaptures with a few from last years.
The total of this successful week is exactly 500 birds, 113 were recaptures; the most ringed species were Chiffchaffs (162), White Wagtails (70) and Spanish Sparrow (25).
The nice catch of Reed Bunting continued with another 14 individuals, including a nice adult male.

Reed Bunting - adult male

In Tuesday evening (22/11) I ringed this nice adult male Caucasian Stonechat. It shows the important ID signs: paler plumage, white base of tail feathers, pale rump, dark underwing and long wing of 74 mm.

Caucasian Stonechat - adult male

Other interesting birds were 5 Jack Snipes, 1 Common Snipe, 1 Water Rail, 3 Wrynecks, 3 Moustached Warblers, 2 Penduline Tits and 12 Corn Buntings.

Common Snipe

Penduline Tit

On Friday (25/11) I ringed a juvenile Marsh Warbler; this is the 12th for this successful season and a month later compared to normal passage. This bird should have been now in Kenya.

Marsh Warbler

Many thanks to Ron, Avishai, Rafi, Eli and Shahar for their help.

Tzor'a Reservoir

Water Rail

Corn Bunting

Sardinian Warbler - female

Reed Bunting - juvenile

European Stonechat