Sunday, 28 March 2010
26th February. Sociable Plover workshop.
A Sociable Plover workshop had been arranged in Deir Ezzor with key government, police, army, local authority and hunters in attentance. The key issues in the breeding areas: a decline in native ungulate grazing but intensified,domestic grazing close to villages. There has also been a change in agricultural practices. Nest trampling and predation by foxes are important issues. SPs require short vegetation (but taller vegetation for the chicks). They feed on invertebrates.
Virtually all SPs nest in Kazakstan. Nest survival is variable between years but overall is good at around 50 percent. Fledging rate is also good.
Satellite tagging of SPs has shown that the birds move west through Kazakstan in August, then SW through Turkey and Syria in September/October, then south to winter in Sudan. They return through Syria in February and March.
Before the workshop we had a look around Deir Ezzor; White-cheeked Bulbul, Iraq Babbler, Bluethroat, Quail and Siberian Chiffchaff provided some highlights.