Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Female Caspian Stonechat

Returned to ring at Ashdod after a long absence. It was a good morning with large numbers and varied catch, pretty typical for this time of year. As expected, main species was Bluethroat, with 34 birds, including some returning migrants / winter visitors from previous years. Also caught in nice numbers were Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap.


Star bird of the morning was this female Caspian Stonechat. Its mate, a male, dodged my nets the whole morning. In normal 'field' views, the tail looks solid black:

But when you blow on the tail base, white feather bases are visible:

Other interesting birds were Marsh Warbler, Thrush Nightingale and this very striking melanocephala Sardinian Warbler (European bird), so much darker and colder above and below than our local subspecies momus:

Common Redstart 

Some nice birds in the field that were not caught - Penduline Tit, Moustached Warbler, Wryneck and a probable Striated Heron seen briefly by Arad. Nice early morning migration of pipits and skylarks.
On the way home had a quick look at the ponds - few gulls with about 40 baltics and some heuglin's and yellow-legs, and this immaculate 1cy Greater Spotted Eagle:

Thanks to Arad, Liad, Roei, Oren and Shahar who helped me this morning.