It feels autumn is fading into winter these days, the soft drizzle we had yesterday and bird numbers seem to confirm that, there were no real drops, but enough to spread an almost forgotten scent of rain in the desert.
Birds are decreasing with only 36 (8 of them re-taps) yesterday, yet even when numbers are low Specialties are always available in November, a Cyprus Warbler ringed on Wednesday was very enjoyable, not only because I haven’t ringed one during the last 3 years but also because it’s a great reason to use Hadoram 'Sylvia' warblers for real (see note), such a wonderful book!
Note: it's a most obvious First winter, but I kept reading for two more hours anyway. (Testing ourselves on the 'problematic plumages' page Included).
Cyprus Warbler post juv. moult may include up to four primareis as in this individual.
Many old birds are now retuning to winter in the park, maybe the most interesting of them was a Water Pipit ringed back in November 2007. Only few of them are ringed every year so this catch is quite special (I caught the first two for the season this week). I also had few Bluethoarts, SardinianWarblers, and Chiffchaffs ringed back in 2008 and 2009, when extensive autumn & winter ringing was held. Some rings are so dirty the need to be cleaned from salt (we're in the middle of salt marsh…) and mud to make it possible reading them.
In the park I've seen this week three Linnets a dozen Song Thrushes and a Blackbird, and managed to ring one of the song thrushes and the blackbird. Those "north" birds are uncommon (but regular) here in winter, even though they are common up north.
I must confess we (Elon and myself) also made an attempt to ring the Olive-backed Pipits(there are four of them now) on Thursday at Eliot palms, and although we came close to catching them (one even walked underneath the net!) we failed, But they are here for the entire winter and so am I…
The end of autumn marks the beginning of time to wander to other places for ringing as the birds wintering in the park are not endless and already many are ringed. It's also time to begin serious preparations for upcoming spring!