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|Tuesday 9th September 2003, 08:00||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Castillos,Manilva,Near Estepona,Costa del Sol,Spain
A weeks' Banding on Gibraltar
Well ,you will have seen the posting re all the raptors so you can guess the ringing side has been at lot quieter.
The first autumn ringer arrived at the obs.on 27th August and as it was so hot only a max.of 6 nets were used and we were trapping the usual local species only,Blackcaps,Blackbirds,Sardinian Warblers,Blue Tit and Wren.but that is the norm for this time of year with W.winds and clear skies with soaring Temps.
Week ending the Sept 7th.was much more promising as we had a couple of days where it was relatively calm with a bit of cloud cover.,so numbers ,species and trans saharan migrants are up.
7 Wrens,57 Sardinian Warblers,15 Garden Warblers,12 Willow Warblers,2 Subalpine Warblers,1 Reed Warbler,2 Orphean Warblers,1 Bonellis warbler,1 Spotted Flycatcher,6 Pied Flycatchers,4 Common Whitethroats,19 Blackcaps,1 Black Eared Wheatear ( Spring Trap with mealworm),1 Great Tit,2 Blue Tits,1 Common Redstart,20 Blackbirds,1 Iberian Chiffchaff,1 Woodchat Shrike,and last but not least 1 House saprrow.
Retraps incl,3 Blackvirds,2 Blue Tits,2 Blackcaps,and 20 sardinian warbler.
You can see what our commonest breeding bird is!!!
Also had a Kingfisher brought in ,in an emaciated state but it was ringed and has been taken into care,is taking food but has not fancied flying off yet.
And ,first bird out of the nets on Sunday was a controlled Reed Warbler from Holland.
Not only did the Trans Saharan migrants have a tough time getting here from Africa because of adverse weather conditions,it was a particularly unpleasant spring till mid April,they then have faced almost the longest hot Spell in 60+ years here in S.Spain,from June up until even this moment that I am typing with temps mid 30's to mid 40's every day and hardly a cloud to been seen.
This has resulted in some very strange moult going on and not only with the African migrants,even the local birds have been at it!!!
E.G. I have 2 local juvenile Rock Buntings,a male and a female that have been moulting their tertials,innermost secondaries and 2 outermost primaries,and on Gib.an adult Common Whitethroat,migrating whilst moulting its tertials plus some of its upper wing coverts and nothing else!!!
At this time of year and certainly when migrating one shuld see adults of this latter species that have had a complete moult.
We also had a very odd Subalpine Warbler,an adult female that had done even less.It is obvoius these birds had chosen a less stressful and energy saving option to migrate this year before moulting,and to complete moult on the wintering areas or even start a fresh moult altogether.
This is why I find Africa a wonderfully fascinating place to trap and ring birds,the ageing sexing and moult strategies of the birds wintering there are a real eye opener and a great challenge to me.
So far only dipped my toe in the water there with a ringingtrip to the Gambia and loved it.
Looking at setting up a ringing station in N.Morocco this Autumn via the Gibraltar ringing group ,as we have permission from the Moroccan authorities to ring in their country.This is a very exciting project that could throw up alll sorts of questions and probably some hard to answer,so I hope I am up to the challenge!!
Hope to go mid Spet,but will keep yuo all posted on progress on that one.
Must dash,got to download a few pix
Hope the pix I have taken turn out OK!!!
Will send some soon with a bit of luck
Your Spanish (and Gibraltar) Correspondent
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