Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Outing report- 15th January 2012 Ringing at Umzumbe

(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Attendees: Liz Blomeyer, Stan & Val Culley, Mike Fagan, Sandy Olver, Andrew Pickles, Andy Ruffle, Ron Whitham. (8 attendees).

Not to be deterred by the morning rain, the early risers (Andy, Liz, Mike & Ron) were rewarded with views of a Eurasian Hobby flying high over the Umzumbe Barn Swallow roost, it's slender appearance giving it away.
Warblers were in evidence again, with 5 species this time. (European) Marsh Warbler was an addition to our last session.

Mike was kept busy emptying the nets whilst Andrew ringed.
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

(European) Marsh Warbler- [Non-breeding Migrant] Extremely difficult to separate from the African Reed-Warbler (African Marsh Warbler) in the field. In the hand, the wing shape is a bit of a give away. To confirm 100% ID, Andrew uses a formula called the 'Wallinder Score', which uses various measurements to determine the difference between the two species.

(European) Marsh Warbler
(Photo Andy Ruffle)
Wing shape of Marsh Warbler
See here for the comparison with the African Reed-Warbler
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

The bird below gave us some trouble initially with identification. It is a Rufous-winged Cisticola going from  breeding plumage to non-breeding plumage- see comparison of full breeding plumage here.

non-breeding Rufous-winged Cisticola
(Photo Andy Ruffle)
As if to confirm the breeding status of the Rufous-winged Cisticolas, a juvenile bird popped up. Note the yellow wash underneath and the steaked crown. It appeared that this bird was not long out of the nest.

juvenile Rufous-winged Cisticola
(Photos Andy Ruffle)

The juvenile Amethyst Sunbird below is identified by the black (not purplish) throat and yellowish gape.

juvenile Amethyst Sunbird
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

With a Terrestrial Brownbul (a surprising catch considering the habitat) and Great Reed-Warbler in bags at the same time, we couldn't let slip the opportunity for a comparison photo.

Terrestrial Brownbul & Great Reed-Warbler
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

For the piece de resistance a male Diderick Cuckoo was our final bird in the nets.

male Diderick Cuckoo
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

wing of male Diderick Cuckoo
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Thanks to Andrew imparting his extensive knowledge, this was once again a very educational morning.
Breakdown for todays ringing:

Recaptures- Fan-tailed Widow  ringed 02.10.2011; Yellow Weaver  ringed 02.10.2011;
Yellow Weaver  ringed 17.04.2010.

New rings- 
5 x Common Waxbill; 3 x African Firefinch; 2 x Yellow-fronted Canary; 1 x Pin-tailed Whydah (female); 1 x Little Rush-Warbler; 3 x Rufous-winged Cisticola; 1 x Amethyst Sunbird; 3 x African Reed-Warbler; 2 x Marsh Warbler; 2 x Malachite Kingfisher; 3 x Lesser Swamp-Warbler; 1 x Southern Red Bishop; 4 x Great Reed-Warbler; 2 x Spectacled Weaver; 2  x Yellow Weaver; 1 x Terrestrial Brownbul; 1 x Dark-capped Bulbul; 1 x Diederick Cuckoo. (38 plus loads of weavers un-ringed and released)

References: Roberts online

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