12/02/08

South Africa (ZA)   Early winter birding  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 10:07:51 am

Week 49 - 29 November 2008, Jahra East Outfall, SAANR and Jahra Farm

This was my last weekends birding for 2008 before I migrated south for the December vacation. I hadnt visited Jahra East and SAANR for sometime, but had to forego the Al Abraq hotspot as a result. Images by Mike Pope

7am at JEO with the temp at 12 degrees, we have mist coming off the outflow due to the temperature differential. The quieteness, while it lasted created a feeling of solitude and peace, enjoyed too by these Moorhens

Moorhen

Sadly and as is too often the case in general for JEO, this tranquilness didnt last long. This group of hunters arrived in their 4x4 and blasted at everything within range of their shotguns. The sad saga of the ongoing killing of migratory birds, where I as a birder and conservationist dont have any authority to intervene, other than record what is happening. This, in a location where hunting is actually illegal

Illegal hunting

To the victor, the spoils

What is the point?

Walking as quietly as possbile in between shotgun blasts I came across this Little Crake trying to be as unobtrusive as possible

Little Crake

A Water Pipit warming up in the first rays of the morning sun

Water Pipit

Bluethroats were pretty vocal and calling from the top of the reeds before disappearing into the depths

Bluethroat

I saw up to 3 Moustached Warblers, but as most would know a Warbler very seldom poses for a picture and they are generally difficult to photograph

Moustached Warbler

As it warmed up the Greater Spotted Eagle took to the skies

Greater Spotted Eagle

I found a single Citrine Wagtail in amongst the Water Pipits and White Wagtails

Citrine Wagtail

A few Pallid Swifts arrived and were hawking above the reeds

Pallid Swifyt

I was surprised to find a small flock of Penduline Tits gleening along the reedbed

Penduline Tit

A Pied Kingfisher patiently waiting for an opportunity

Pied Kingfisher

The hunters were continuing their obliteration of passerines and this was too depresing to be around, so I headed for the sancity of SAANR. I managed to see 6 species of Wheatear in an hour including this Mourning Wheatear in typical wadi habitat

Mourning Wheatear

I came across a few scattered flocks of Skylarks around the reserve

Skylark

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