Spotted crake and ortolan bunting in Bahrain

Fortunately, there is not just ugly dictatorship, but also beautiful birds in Bahrain.

From Birds of Saudi Arabia blog, with many photos there:

26 April 2012

New ringing ticks – Alba Marsh (Bahrain)

I went ringing again on Friday at Alba Marshes and we set up our normal four nets. We changed the place of the back net as a Black-winged Stilt had decided to lay eggs at the edge of the ride we normally use so did not want to disturb them. Brendan flushed a [spotted] crake off the path and it flew into the bottom shelf of the net but as it was a large bird it started walking along the net towards the end where it would have been able to escape. The bird was too large to get caught up in the net but Brendan used his speed and skill to catch the bird before it got loose.

This was a new bird for Brendan and for the ringing scheme in Bahrain so it meant Brendan ringed the bird. This did allow me more time to look at it in the hand and take [more] photographs than normal but I would love to catch another one to ring myself. The bird was a first year male and was a beautiful bird to handle.

Spotted Crake - second calendar year male in Bahrain. Photo Jem Babbington

We had quite a good days ringing with the Spotted Crake being the first bird caught and virtually the last bird caught was a new ringing species for me. This was a first year female Ortolan Bunting and was again a very nice bird to see in the hand. Numbers of the species have been building up over the last couple of weeks and quite a few were seen in the reed edges and short cut reed areas but it took quite a few hours until one flew into the net.

There is some debate over which world eco-zone Saudi Arabia belongs in. In the north its flora and fauna are typically western palearctic but in the south west of the country there is a distinctly African feel. The argument is about the rest: here.

8 thoughts on “Spotted crake and ortolan bunting in Bahrain

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