Friday, September 05, 2014

Eilat is under attack- of Shrikes!!!

During summer we ring every now ant then, trying to monitor the birds around without annoying them with too many unneeded re-captures. August is already crowded is migrants but the heat doesn’t allow us to ring for 4 hours every day like we to during monitoring season. While ringing shortly on August 28th we were feeling like the season is on- We caught a Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus קנית קטנהwith a ring from SLOVAKIA. We are still waiting to get more info from their ringing center…

Autumn ringing season had started on Sept 1st. We ring daily and every day is a surprise party..!
So far we ringed 403 birds in 5 days (61-111 each day) but the best part is the species variety! Loads of cool species were ringed till now, I'm sure there are many more on their way. It's almost impossible to share all the great stories and all the happy faces of the volunteers who came to help with the ringing and enjoy migration but I'll try to note some of the better species we had each day:

Low expectations, new ringing season is always a reason to be optimistic but a very hot day seemed not to be the best for opening. Eventually e were all amazed by catching 66 birds, 20 species, including:
2 Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria סבכי ניצי

1 Juv. Male Namaqua Dove Oena capensis תורית זנבתנית

1 Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava נחליאלי צהוב
1 Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos  זמיר ירדן
and the best of all: Juv. Rosy Starling Pastor roseus זרזיר ארבה

Higher expectations, but we weren't even close- it was much better than we thought because at night somebody changed all the birds around.
We had 88 birds, 19 species. 22 Shrikes!! It hurts!

Even more painful than usual- weird Red-backed Shrike
כואב מהרגיל- חנקנית אדומת גב עם מקור מעוות
Some new for season-
Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus  קנית אירופית
Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris קנית ביצות
Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia זמיר מנומר
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata חטפית אפורה
and the best of all: Two Lesser Grey Shrikes Lanius minor חנקן שחור מצח

Who is the bravest?! Tzadok or the Shrike
מי האמיץ בתמונה?!

We new it can't stay so good, we knew this day must be boring. Well guess what- It wasn't! Another great day with lovely people and amazing birds.
Only 61 birds were ringed, only 16 species but…

New for season-
2 Wryneck Jynx torquilla סבראש


and the best of all: 1 juv. Blackstart Cercomela melanura  שחור זנב
They are regularly seen around Eilat region but are rarely caught at IBRCE Park because it is so vegetated. I've never ringed any Blackstart at the Park before!

Things got even better thanks to spectacular visible migration of European Bee-eaters Merops apiasterשרקרק מצוי  and some Swallows species:
Sand Martins Riparia riparia כוכית גדות
Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica סנונית רפתות
And House Martins Delichon urbica טסית בתים
A few of each were ringed (6, 8 and 2 respectively).

House Martin Delichon urbica טסית בתים
New for season-
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis שלדגון

Beautiful hot morning. Once again a wave of Shrikes arrived at night and hurte our fingers all day (or the leftovers of the fingers).
111 birds were ringed, best day so far.
Another Blackstart Cercomela melanura  שחור זנב was ringed early in the morning, maybe part of the same family?
In general we had more of the same (great variety, have I mentioned it before?)
and the best of all: 10 Arabian Babbler Turdoides squamiceps זנבן jumped all together into one net, calling and squeaking! Pure fun and lots of poop…!

We'll see what brings us the next night!
Wish you a lovely weekend and happy migration wherever you are.

Yael Lehnardt
Head ringer & guide, IBRCE

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