Sunday, 6 January 2013

**UPDATED** Outing report- 6th January 2013 Bird ringing Umzumbe floodplain

Attendees: Liz Blomeyer, Stan & Val Culley, Cathy Lee, Sandy Olver, Andy Ruffle, Ron Whitham. (7 attendees)

Fortunately, the recent relatively dry spell had enabled the floodplain to dry out enough to allow today's ringing session.
Andrew started the morning off by processing 41 Barn Swallows caught at the swallow roost the night before. Amongst the 'catch' were three rather special birds - juvenile Common House-Martins.

A tricky one to identify at first sight.
A rather dull specimen, but showing signs of
blue appearing on the back and wings.
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

A grey rump..hmmm the plot thickens.
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

The feathered legs are a diagnostic
feature of the Common House-Martin.
The lackluster colours indicate a juvenile bird.
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Although not unheard of on the coast, they do seem to be uncommon. It appears that Barry Porter had noted them on the floodplain before, as they are showing in the SABAP2 atlas project for the pentad. These juvenile birds would however, be extremely difficult to identify in the field as they lack the strong colours of adult birds.

Another nice bird in the nets was a (Eurasian) Sedge Warbler.

(Eurasian) Sedge Warbler
Note the prominent eye stripe
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

(Eurasian) Sedge Warbler
Note the heavily streaked crown
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Special sightings were not confined to the nets either. A raptor flying overhead was soon identified as an Osprey carrying a fish in it's talons. So another good day on the floodplain.

For more info on Andrew's Barn Swallow ringing for the 2012/2013 season click here.

Birds ringed: 41x Barn Swallow, 3x Common House-Martin, 1x Sedge Warbler, 1x Little Bee-eater, 2x Malachite Kingfisher, 3x Lesser Swamp-warbler, 3x Fan-tailed Widowbird, 1x Rufous-winged Cisticola, 1x Yellow Weaver, 1x Village Weaver. (57 birds, 10 species)

Re-captures: 3x Yellow Weaver, 1x Fan-tailed Widowbird, 1x Rufous-winged Cisticola. (5 birds, 3 species)

The Rufous-winged Cisticola was originally ringed as an adult on 29th January 2006 on the floodplain, making  this bird atleast 7 years old....another good record obtained.

Total: 62 birds, 10 species.

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