Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Smelly sweet

Yesterday (24/01) I ringed around some Mediterranean Stinkbushes (Anagyris foetida) near one of my sites. Apart for having a very offensive smell, it's one of only few winter flowering bushes in the Mediterranean zone. In this cold season the sweet nectar is a very important energy source for many passerines and insects, especially for the nectar specialized Palestine Sunbird (Nectarinia osea). In the early morning I caught birds coming to the nectar: Palestine Sunbirds, Spectacled Bulbuls, Chiffchaffs and Sardinian Warblers. Later in the morning, while the air was warming up, the birds disappeared but my nets were full of bees.

Palestine Sunbird - male

Mediterranean Stinkbush

Palestine Sunbird - female

In this time of year, even though the winter is still here in full blast, we start to find early signs of spring. These included full song of Graceful Prinias, blackening throat of White Wagtails and blackening head pattern of this beautiful second year Reed Bunting.

Reed Bunting