Good spoonbill nesting season


This video from Texel island is called Eurasian spoonbill feeding in shallow water.

Translated from wildlife ranger Erik van der Spek, on Texel island, the Netherlands:

Things go well again for the spoonbills on Texel

Posted on May 22, 2012

This year, again many spoonbills breed on Texel. The largest colony is found in the National Park Dunes of Texel in De Geul, just like last year, about 400 couples. This is the largest colony of the Netherlands. In the Muy nature reserve this year there are 64 breeding pairs, the highest number since 1964. So, the birds appreciated that last winter the Forestry Commission had cut down some willows on higher places in the thickets. In the Schorren nature reserve there are at least about 60 pairs but there are still new breeding pairs arriving. So, in Texel certainly more than 530 pairs of spoonbills are nesting again.

Seeing spoonbills

The spoonbills were counted by the Forestry Commission, basing itself on aerial photographs because the swampy sites are not approachable without too much disturbance. Some nests are in and under trees, so probably a number of nests have been missed. …

In Western Europe (from Portugal to Denmark) last year 4609 spoonbill couples nested. In the separate Eastern European population, that was 1120 couples. More information about spoonbills can be found at www.werkgroeplepelaars.nl, observations for this website may also be published there.

Webcam at spoonbill nest in the Schorren reserve: here.

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Ringing reed warblers in Bahrain


In between news from Bahrain about torture, lethal teargas, jailing doctors and nurses for treating injured people … sometimes better news.

Caspian reed warbler, photo by Jem Babbington

From Birds of Saudi Arabia blog; with more photos there:

21 May 2012

Caspian Reed WarblerAlba Marsh (Bahrain)

Whilst ringing at Alba Marsh last Friday Brendan and I caught five Reed Warblers. These are the first Reed Warblers we have caught for two months and were interesting as they are fuscus race Caspian Reed Warblers.

Eurasian Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus fuscus is sometimes treated as a separate species Caspian Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus (s) fuscus based on a paper by B. Leisler, P. Heidrich, K. Schulze-Hagen & M. Wink, Taxonomy and phylogeny of reed warblers (genus Acrocephalus) based on mtDNA sequences and morphology, Journal für Ornithologie 138 (1997): 469-496.

Caspian Reed Warbler breeds from the northern Caspian Sea to north-east Kazakhstan and east Iran; Asia Minor; Cyprus; Levant. They winter in Africa south of the Sahara.

European Reed Warbler breeds from North-west Africa & Europe east to central European Russia, Crimea & West Asia Minor. Winters in Africa south of the Sahara.

Some of the fetaures for Caspian Reed Warbler include white tips to the outer three or four tail feathers usually more obvious than Marsh or Reed Warbler. Pale grey-brown upper-parts, crown greyish, rump sandy coloured and slightly warmer toned than rest of upper-parts. Pale under-parts with only flanks brownish. Less rufous than European Reed Warbler.

Update: see here.

What Should You Do When Birds Collide With A Window? Here.