Monday, 23 July 2012

Intensive summer

Recent weeks have been very intensive for me with lots of ringing. The breeding season was very successful at all of my ringing sites. In Tzor'a Valley every Friday session I catch about 100 birds. Last Friday I had 106 birds, with a nice surprise - an adult female Bluethroat; normally Bluethroats migrate through Israel during October-November and some stay for the winter. This bird was in active complete moult and probably failed to migrate north this year.


On Sunday morning I ringed in my CES and was positively surprised with 135 birds in very short time - it gets so hot so fast; the first net round produced 70 birds and fourth (and last) net round produced only one bird! 124 birds out of the total of 135 were Reed Warblers. A few Reed Warblers, especially adult birds, completed their partial body moult and had lots of fat, and probably started their autumn movement. One of those adult Reed Warbler showed an extraordinary moult strategy - an active primary moult. Normally this occurs on African wintering grounds.

In Atlit also very busy ringing as a result of very successful breeding season, most of the terns we ring are juveniles. Until today I ringed about 90 juvenile Little Terns, compared to 2010-11 in which I ringed about 30 juveniles per year. Also first autumn migrants are here with first shorebirds around and first White-winged Tern ringed.

White-winged Tern

Squacco Heron

In mid-July I joined to the annual Mt. Hermon ringing session, which was great fun but didn't produce any surprises. Although I ringed for the first time this beautiful male semirufus Black Redstart.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Sandwich Tern

On Sunday night (1/7) I ringed at Atlit. Nice catch of many juveniles, Little and Common Terns and a total of 62 terns caught included one Sandwich Tern. Sandwich Tern is common in winter and on migration but is fairly rare in summer. This is 2nd calendar year bird and that doesn't breed yet, and is probably roaming the seas - although it breeds not too far away: last winter we received our first control of Sandwich Tern in Israel, from Bulgaria.
Another nice anecdote: on previous Sunday I ringed a Little Tern chick with wing-length of 108mm; this Sunday it got recaptured with wing-length of 135mm - 27mm growth in one week, 3.9mm per day on average this is fast!
Thanks to Francis and Rafi for their help this night.