Friday, 17 August 2012

Ringing at the Rio Quípar, Calasparra – Wednesday 15th August 2012

Weather: Sky clear, no wind, 13 - 30ºC.  With Fran Garcia.

The 15th of August here in Spain is a public holiday (Ascension Day), and as I knew that there was ringing going on at one of my favourite places, I decided to take a trip out - more than anything to see some different birds.
After an hour and a half’s drive, I arrived at 8 a.m.  The nets were already set up at the site, which is a stream surrounded by reeds and bushes.  We didn’t catch many birds, but did catch the first passerine migrants of the autumn migration, 2 Willow Warblers.  We also caught a single Melodious Warbler which could have been on migration, and 6 Reed Warblers and a couple of Nightingales.  Other interesting birds caught were a couple of Thekla Larks (the first for this site), 3 Crested Larks, Great Tit, Cettis Warblers, Goldfinches and Sardinian Warblers.  Although it makes this post long-winded, I include photos of all the Crested and Thekla Larks so that the differences can be seen (or not!).

  Melodious Warbler

 Cetti's Warbler

 Willow Warbler

Adult female Sardinian Warbler

Reed Warbler taking a quick snack!

 Crested Lark - note long curved bill, and crest flattened

 Another Crested Lark

Adult Thekla Lark (left) and adult Crested Lark (right).  Note the Thekla is much greyer

 The same two birds.  Note the full crest on the Thekla, and shorter more triangular bill

 Back view of the same two birds (the Thekla is in moult and has lost its tail)

 Front/side view of the Thekla Lark

 A closer view of the same bird

A juvenile Crested Lark - note the crest made of much fewer feathers

The second adult Thekla Lark caught, also in moult but this time with a tail!

Underwing of the second Thekla Lark caught - much greyer than the orangey underwing of Crested Lark

The second Willow Warbler caught

 And finally, a Nightingale

Interesting birds seen around the area included a juvenile Woodchat Shrike, a couple of Chough, a dozen or so Corn Buntings, House Martins bringing food to their nests under a bridge, and a single Crossbill flew through.

Species seen/heard during the day
Woodpigeon Columba palumbus)
Swift (Apus apus)
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae)
Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Cettis Warbler (Cettia cetti)
Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Melodious Warbler (Hippolais polyglotta)
Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Great Tit (Parus major)
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra)

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