Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Morning madness

okay i am officially mad. Not content with getting up before the sun to ring one or two birds at my local plot, i actually traveled, be it not so far, to Nafcha farm to do the same! To be fair Nafcha is usually fairly reliable whatever time of year, so having met up with Yoram Tvik and putting up nets we discussed what would be a good number for the morning, "20" i said "no more " he replied. but what we ended up with was 2 new birds a chiffchaff and a white wagtail, and 2 recaptures, be it interesting ones as they were returning wintering birds first caught last January 2014. to cap it all i forgot my binocular and camera that i had meticulously packed the night before so i can't even post pics of empty nets! Things can only get better.

To cheer myself up and to remember that spring migration will soon arrive here's a photo of  a large number of Levants Sparrowhawks over our ringing plot last April. Photo by Dominic Standing

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

January cold

As a ringer i dislike January as much as the unmentionables, from down the road from my former place of residence in Wolverhampton. Which if you know football is a lot. It's cold here in the desert, close to freezing at night, and the recent storms seem to have got rid of all but the hardiest of individuals. Getting out of bed is hard and doesn't seem worth the while for 2 or 3 birds that frequent my ringing plot. So i jumped at the chance to go and join Israels premier ringer Yosef Kiat on a trip to the Meishar plain, a large flat area of desert frequented by numerous wintering larks and warblers. We arrived around 6am, after the nets were up, just as first light was beginning to show. A little bit of birding was done first, getting some nice views of Temincks larks and seeing good numbers of Spotted sandgrouse. Then it was back to the ringing. Around 20 birds were caught including Desert wheatears, Hooded wheatears, Asian desert warblers and a first for me Scrub warbler.

Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana

Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti

ScrubWarbler Scotocerca inquieta