Thursday, 27 October 2011

RBF for sure!!

After last weeks Taiga/Rb flycatcher we had a definite Red breasted flycatcher on wednesday morning. the bird had a much lighter bill with the pink underneath covering a much larger area and the rest being more yellowish. the upper tail coverts were clearly lighter than the tail. the tertials showed small white wedges that did not extend into the outer web. the measurements for the two birds were

P2 < wing tip 7.15mm
P2 = P6
P3 and P4 longest
P1 < P2 28.85mm
wing 71mm
tail 55mm
Bill to skull 12 .91mm
bill depth at back of nostrils 3.43mm

RB Flycatcher
P2 < wing tip 5.26mm
P2 = P6
P3 and P4 longest
P1 < P2 28.19mm
wing 68mm
tail 51mm
Bill to skull 12 .56mm
bill depth at back of nostrils 3.19mm

the photographs were taken by chris with his canon but unfortunately did not come out well and do not show the clear differences

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Taiga by the tail?

We had a little bit of excitement here on sunday, when after a good mornings catch, Chris, a ringer over here from the US of A doing a post doc, fetched what i first thought was a 1cy red breasted flycatcher out of the bag. i immediateley told him to hand it over as the senior ringer i was not going to let a ringing tick get away from me. So after ringing i began to examine the bird more thoroughly i first noticed the dark bill then checked the tail coverts which were black, excitement was starting to build now, so i rebagged the bird and took it to my house to take photos and make a few calls as i needed more expert help and was soon joined by Barak, Meidad and Yoav. After many photos and a comparison with a bird from the shetlands i was thinking that it was probably a rbf after all as our bird seemed a little warmer in its plumage than the shetland bird.We were joined by Oz in time to release the bird and play some calls in an attempt to entice some voice from it but it promptly disappeared into the gardens. Later that evening however i received an email from Yoav with some very interesting links (which can be viewed at Yoav blog ). After reading them and looking at the photos here i am a lot more optamistic now. But only time will tell and its in the hands of people with a lot more knowledge about this species than me.

Monday, 3 October 2011

When September ends

with september drawing to an end, the migrants started arriving here in much larger numbers and variety. We had a couple of firsts for the plot, i had ringed yellow wagtails around Beer Sheva, but never here, so was nicely surprised when 4 birds were brought to the ringing table. the other new bird was a ringing tick for me, quickly moving the apprentices out of the way when a scops owl was captured. this was my third tick of the month after ringed plovers and curlew sandpipers we had caught when venturing out to Nizzana. Other good birds for the month were 3 1cy ruppels warblers a couple of savis, a great reed, creztchmars bunting, a couple of wryneck, which are always fun to ring, and 11 black eared wheatears. We had only previously had a couple of these birds and always in the spring so to get so many here was really exciting.
the Orphean warblers seem like they have finally come to an end with a grand total of 90 birds of which only 2 were adults