Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dinosaur Jr.

So after the day before yesterday I visited the Ashdod ponds and saw there tons of birds, I decided to organize a team and do a shorebird ringing session there last night. We met up in the afternoon, to discover that water level in the good pond dropped and it was virtually empty. Luckily in another pond water level was just right and all the birds were there. While erecting the long line of nets (mud, heat, humidity, mosquitoes etc.) we enjoyed the large numbers of shorebirds. Among them we had three Broad-billed Sandpiper, and three Turnstones. Among the many Yellow Wags there were at least three Citrines. One dark Eleonora's Falcon flew over us in the afternoon! Nice.
We started catching at dusk - the three Turnstones were among the first birds to be caught.We had a reasonable catch - not huge numbers but very nice variety. Unfortunately there's too much light at night in the ponds from surrounding factories which illuminates my nets and reduces the catch. We closed the nets around midnight, coated with mud and very tired, but pretty pleased.

Most of the catch consisted of Little Stints, Wood Sadpipers and Ringed Plovers. The most odd bird was this adult Little Grebe. Very common in Israel but seldom ringed. What a bizzare bird, like a flying fossil. No tail, huge feet - quite cool!

Little Grebe

Here are some highlights:

Broad-billed Sandpiper - 1cy

Marsh Sandpiper - 1cy

Temminck's Stint - 1cy, one of two caught

Turnstone - 1cy

And some other bits and bobs. Interesting to catch a Reed Warbler at midnight - active migrant or disturbed sleeper?

That's why Spur-winged Lapwing is called that way:

We also caught three Kuhl's Pipistrelles (Pipistrellus kuhlii) - tiny but violent bats:

Many many thanks to the hard-working team: Re'a, Arad, Rony, Roei, Oren and Tzipo.

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