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Scopus: Journal of East African Ornithology

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Ringing and observation of migrants at Ngulia Lodge, Tsavo West National Park, Kenya, 2013–2015

David Pearson

Abstract


The review of migrant bird ringing at Ngulia Lodge by Pearson et al. (2014) is updated. During late autumn sessions in 2013, 2014 and 2015 a further 35 000 Palaearctic birds were trapped. Species ringing totals for the three years are tabulated, together with overall ringing totals since the onset of this project in 1969. Twenty long distance ringing recoveries reported since the 2014 review are listed, and a breakdown is given by country of recovery numbers since the start of the project.

Between 25 November and 13 December 2013 regular persistent night mists accounted for a successful session with 21 052 migrants ringed. Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris formed 49% of this catch. A Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix was the first caught here for 20 years. A Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia, a Marsh Warbler and a Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica were controlled bearing foreign rings. In 2014, a session between 16 November and 2 December produced good species variety, but night mists were confined to the first week. Thrush Nightingale was the dominant species in a modest Palaearctic catch of 7051. Marsh Warbler numbers were unusually low, and one regular species, Basra Reed Warbler Acrocephalus griseldis, was almost absent. Heavy showers brought well over 1000 Eurasian Rollers Coracias garrulus and a gathering of 1500 Amur Falcons Falco amurensis to the lodge on the afternoon of 1 December. In 2015, a late session with nine misty nights between 6 and 20 December resulted in 7638 migrants ringed, with Marsh Warbler by far the dominant species. Basra Reed Warbler numbers had returned to normal, and those of Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus and Sedge Warbler A. schoenobaenus were unusually high.

Over three years the bush cover used for trapping north of the lodge has shown continued loss as a result of increased elephant pressure during the dry season.




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