Asian Desert Warblers Sylvia nana in the southern Negev

Late January 09

Yoav Perlman set out to the remote Meishar planes with the intention of getting close up and personal with the rare Asian Desert Warblers that winter in the region.

“Yesterday 28/1/09 I went ringing with Yosef kiat at Hameishar, S Negev. Our aim was to study Asian desert Warblers – and we succeeded in catching two birds. They weren’t too difficult – one bird responded well to a recording and was trapped without coaxing, while the other bird was moved towards the net quite easily.


We compared both birds in the hand, but found very few clues regarding their ageing. Both birds had moderately worn and abraded primary tips, and pretty heavily worn rectrices.

The tail patterns of both birds varied slightly. One bird had less white on T5 than the other, and also was moulting the two longer tertials (the bird in images named spread and back). According to Svensson and to Shirihai’s Sylvia book, both 2cy and 3cy may moult tertials in winter. We could see no sign of moult in coverts. Both birds seemed pretty identical in general tones and bare part colors. The individual with the unmoulted tertials was probably a male – it sang quite intensively before being caught. Other than that we caught zero birds, but we can’t complain.

Yoav & Yosef”

We thank Yoav for his interesting report; stay posted as spring is around the corner.
Jonathan Meyrav

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