Monday, 4 March 2013

Goodbye winter - welcome spring!

Winter is ending, and spring has arrived. Now it's time for me to go ahead with my work on moult. For this I ringed some interesting species, still so much work to do. Below are some interesting results from this period:

In winter I caught two young Isabelline Shrikes. This winter is very good for this species in Israel. Those two with another five skins from Tel-Aviv University Museum produce interesting information about their moult strategy.

Isabelline Shrike

I have been working this spring at Wadi Mishmar, Judean Desert, but I catch fewer Sylvia warblers than I expected. This might be as a result of a very rainy winter, especially in southern Israel and Sinai, that affected plant productivity in regional scale, and scatters the migrants over large area rather than having them concentrated in hotspots like Wadi Mishmar. Still it's a very interesting site and I ringed some desert species like Sand Partridge, Blackstart, Scrub Warbler and Sinai Rosefinch, together with spring migrants like Blue Rock Thrush, Cyprus Warbler and other common Sylvia warblers.

Wadi Mishmar

Cyprus Warbler

Blue Rock Thrush

Sand Partridge - female

Finally, this morning I had a successful visit to Modiin Hills, that produced my first Ruppell's Warbler and Balkan Warbler for this spring together with many Lesser Whitethroats - it's a very beautiful site with lovely natural habitat, and is very good for Sylvia warblers in March.

Modiin Hills

Ruppell's Warbler

Balkan Warbler

Thanks to my helpers this time, Rafi Paz, Ron Efrat, Arad Ben-David, Yotam and Yael Lenard.