Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bird Ringing in Ebre Delta

Last week I was ringing in Canal Vell (Ebre Delta, Catalonia), in the autumn migration campaing executed by ICO (Catalan Institute of Ornitology).
On Monday 3, I went by train to the Delta. I am not a ringer yet, so I was helping other ringers as Oriol Baltà, Raül Aymí and Rafa González.

The first day, before go to Canal Vell, we went to Goleró zone, in the Fangar bay. It's a big tidal zone, so when the tide comes in, some waders move to other parts of the Delta. Fortunately, we found a little 'beach' plenty of Dunlins (Calidris alpina), Little Stints (Calidris minuta) and Common Ringed Plovers (Charadrius hiaticula). We found lots of Common Greenshanks (Tringa nebularia) and some Eurasian Curlews (Numenius arquata).

Reed and Cetti's Warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus and Cettia cetti, respectively are the most common species trapped in the campaing. Pied Flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca), Willow Warblers (Phylloscopus trochilus) and Kingfishers (Alcedo atthis) were also in good numbers.
Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti)
Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), juvenile female
We caught an average of 80 birds / a day during the firsts ones. The most interesting birds were:
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), juvenile
Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minitus), adult male
Little Bitterns are a little bit dangerous...
Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)
We trapped also some Bluethroats (Luscinia svecica) and Savi's Warblers (Locustella luscinioides):
A juvenile female
Savi's Warbler. Looks like a Cetti's, isn't it?
I was ringing until 12th September, a total of 10 days. I made some 'friends', like this juvenile Natrix maura and some Plain Tigers (Danaus chrysippus).

During all day, mosquitos were quite a lot irritating, specially during the lasts 'nets-rounds'. In a quiet afternoon, when we didn't catch more than 5 or 6 birds, it started a Swallow roost very close to the nets. That night, we trapped 93 Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica), but the big surprise were 201 Sand Martins (Riparia riparia). We found at least 3 birds simply 'landed' on the nets, and we caught them with the hands. This episode was repeated every night until my last night there. In total, we ringed more than 2000 swallows these days (Riparias + Hirundos), similar numbers of each species. The firsts days we caught more Sand Martins and the last days, more Barn Swallows.
Swallows arriving in the ringing station

Because of the quantity of trapped birds, we caught some foreign birds. Some French, Italian, German and a British Sand Martins and some Swiss, Italian and French Barn Swallows.

 Every afternoon I passed one hour at least birding in Canal Vell lagoon, from a watchtower in the ringing station. As the most interesting birds, I saw 2 Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) every day, a maximum of 3 Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia), 28 Eurasian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia), +300 Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), 3 Grasshopper Warblers (Locustella naevia) and a Crested Coot (Fulica cristata), that's a 'regular rarity' in the Delta.

'My working table'
Releasing a Kingfisher. It's really nice see how they fly away
after we have ringed them! 

No comments:

Post a Comment