Friday, March 16, 2012

Don’t stop at the top

Don’t stop at the top

More perfect days the ringing station, while a storm is raging at the north birds are stuck here at increasing numbers, yesterday a great wave of Lesser Whitethroats, and many other Sylviaspecies together with a good swallow catch in the evening brought us just short of the tempting 400 barrier with 394 new birds. Chiffchaffs are starting to slow down (after nearly 1000 so far) with about 20 a day which made me wonder if it is still worthwhile to play Chiffchaffs at the ‘pond’ nets.
Today I decided to play some swallows at pond nets, and surely huge flock of some 1500hirundinidae showed up, mostly House Martins back in numbers (nearly absent the last week), and Red rumped Swallows and many were caught, with another good wave of Lesser Whitethroats and many other Sylvia that got us today past the 400 with 410 new birds!

Even more interesting were 2 controls of Lesser Whitethroats One from France and another one just minutes later one from Denmark! The first time ever I catch two passerine controls! Even though the excitement was short as numbers of birds kept pouring in from the nets it made my day!
Luckily for me my good friend Yosef (also my supervising A license) is the coordinator of the Israeli ringing center, so by telling him the ring numbers by phone and receiving an ultra fast (30 minutes) reaction we got answers from the Danish ringing Center even before we finished the morning session, both birds were ringed in 2009 in autumn migration, this is part of a very familiar pattern of western European Lesser Whitethroats coming in spring through Israel, but nonetheless this is the first French ringed Lesser Whitethroat to be controlled in Israel!

Of course when you ring many birds more surprises turn up from the bags time and time again, the female Menetris Warbler was recaptured, 3 Subalpine Warblers in the last three days, the seventh Cyprus Warbler, a male Little Crake (in the same excellent crake traps) and an amazing Crag Martin (all team tick), for me, the real bird of today.
 Rock Martin tail
 Crag Martin tail

I was guiding almost every morning this week so had little time to take photos or write some posts down even there is more to be told, you can find some on Fabian’s blog together with daily totals:
For more photos you can also look at the last post:

Can things get any better?

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