Saturday, 30 June 2012

Common Tern in Hungary!

I received a report about one of my Commons Tern, seen in Hungary. This is the first foreign report of a tern I ringed in this project and the first Israeli Common Tern recovery or control from Hungary. Thanks to Andras Fodor for this interesting report.

I0E in Hungary

On Sunday (24/06) I resumed the tern ringing efforts in Atlit; now in the colony many chicks have fledged. They sit on the ground and every adult that flies above is welcomed with screams and open bills. In total, 45 terns were caught, of which 29 Common Terns with a first flying juvenile and 16 Little Terns with 10 juveniles. Also I ringed some early autumn migrants, as every year they're waders, that night I had 2 Redshanks and 1 Greenshank.

Little Tern - juvenile

See below a few screenshots from the web camera in tern colony:

In Tzor'a the breeding season is also very good and productive with many warblers. Last Friday (22/06) we caught 186 birds with massive effort, most were Reed Warblers, Cetti's Warblers, Eastern Olivaceous Warblers, Clamorous Reed-Warblers and Sardinian Warblers. In CES (28/06) also nice catch with very few species: 70 birds, 68 of them were Reed Warblers.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Moody Mt. Hermon ringing

Every summer we meet on Mt. Hermon to ring and monitor the special bird community of this special habitat. Our main session occurs in mid July, but this year I decided to join the June session as well, organized by Nadav and the Hula Valley team.
This year is poor for ringing on Mt. Hermon and very good for breeding. The winter was good with lots of snow still remaining on the higher elevations. Most seedeaters drink from the snow on the top, and fewer birds came down to drink in the ringing site pools. During Thursday afternoon and Friday morning we caught only 175 birds including a few recaptures from previous years. Like every year the most common species were Linnet, Goldfinch and Syrian Serin, but we also ringed other regular breeding birds: Lesser Whitethroat, Woodchat Shrike, Rock Bunting and 1 beautiful male Black-headed Bunting.

Syrian Serin

Other Hermon animals we met during this session were a big Four-lined Snake (Elaphe quatuorlineat) and Savi's Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus savii). For both species N Israel is the southernmost tip of their global distribution. The Four-lined Snake is common only on Mt. Hermon and was discovered there for the first time only in 1971. The Savi's Pipistrelle was described for the first time in N Israel in 1988.

Savi's Pipistrelle

I hope our July session will be more productive for ringing.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Modern bird research

Who says that bird research always involves waking up very early, driving many kilometers, suffering from cold / hot / rain / mud etc., all with clumsy optics and heavy rucksack? Not anymore.
As part of the tern conservation project in Atlit, web cameras were installed inside the tern colony for supervision of this sensitive site. Yesterday evening I studied the terns without drive, wind, heat or disturbance to the breeding birds. I sat on my comfortable computer chair with a cup and enjoyed birdwatching. The camera has a speaker and I could hear the terns screaming in live broadcast to my home. See below a few screenshots from last evening.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Two days ago (05/06) I ringed at JBO, quite a poor morning. After two nice months of spring migration the silence in area is very jarring. I caught 15 birds, most were late migrants that probably won't make it anywhere. Apart from this, there were only few juveniles of breeding population species. Most migrants were found around our Mulberry Trees, with the last berries remaining on those trees.

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

After the moody report above, happier news came from Tzor'a. I ringed on Friday and discovered the fruits of a very successful breeding season. Eight nets for four hours produced a very busy morning. Most birds were Reed Warblers and Cetti's Warblers, but also present were other local species.
Compared to last year in same date and same nets:
2011: 44 birds, 2012: 84 birds
2011: 13 females with brood patch, 2012: 12 females with brood patch
2011: 7 fledglings, 2012: 27 fledglings
2011: 0.5 fledglings per breeding female, 2012: 2.3 fledglings per breeding female