Monday, 12 March 2012

Outing report- 11th March 2012 Bird ringing at Umzumbe floodplain

Text & photos by Andy Ruffle

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Mike Fagan, Bob Hobbes, John Marchant, Sandy Olver, Andy Ruffle, Ron Whitham. (8 attendees)

Conditions were favourable for this mornings ringing session with Andrew & Ivan Pickles, with a good turnout of attendees, thank you guys.
It definitley seems as though the long distance migrant warblers are on their way, with only Great Reed-Warblers (an Intra-African migrant) and African Reed-Warblers (resident) being caught today.
However, we did have a nice variety of species being bagged. Their were plenty of juvenile African Firefinches around, with nodules at the base of their bills (see photo below). These nodules are used by the adult to trigger the chick to open it's mouth.

juvenile African Firefinch

juvenile African Firefinch
Note the nodules at the base of the bill

Another nice bird to see up close was a Red-faced Cisticola. These could be heard calling all around the floodplain.

Red-faced Cisticola
Two rather scraggy looking Dark-capped Yellow Warblers also made an appearance.

Dark-capped Yellow Warbler

Both Andrew & Mike Fagan were kept busy all morning with a total of 43 birds being ringed (Andrew 26 birds; Mike 17 birds), not including many weavers which were just released.
There were also four recaptures- three Yellow Weavers and a Great Reed-Warbler.
One of the recaptured Yellow Weavers was ringed as an adult female on 11.10.2003, which beats the previous longevity record (details to follow).

Species ringed: Great Reed-Warbler, African Reed-Warbler, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, African Stonechat, Yellow Weaver, Spectacled Weaver, African Firefinch, Common Waxbill, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Rufous-winged Cisticola, Red-faced Cisticola, Fan-tailed Widow, Yellow-fronted Canary. (13 species)

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