Monday, July 23, 2012

Tern ringing at Atlit - and more...

Last night I joined Yosef for a night of tern ringing at Atlit saltpans. This is Yosef's third season working on Common and Little Terns breeding in N Israel, and he has some interesting results already. We arrived rather early and had a quick look around before setting the nets up. Quite many shorebirds around - 10 Blackwits, Whimbrel, Spotshank and Greenshank etc. 

Black-tailed Godwit: amazing how they are able to preform such strenuous long-distance migration during heavy wing moult. This must affect their aerodynamics considerabely.


Many of the terns in the colony are ringed. Incredible how we managed to read rings before we had DSLR's. This is a call to all of our friends in eastern and southern Africa - go and look for our rings! They are very easy to spot, and terns are always fun to watch. Yosef has had some recoveries and controls exchanged with N and E Europe, but nothing in Africa yet, where these birds are heading to for the winter.


The catch was not terrific but not too bad, ended up with 38 birds. Conditions were very good - no wind at all, but humidity was awful. 

Common Tern - 3cy+


Little Tern - 3cy+

Among the terns we had few surprises:

White-winged Tern - adult. What a cracker but wouldn't pose for a photo.


Squacco Heron

This is part of the 3000+ roost of terns, mixed with some Slender-billed Gulls:

video

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