An excellent weekend for birding with a surprising range of species seen. The usual local suspects seem to have had a good breeding year with Western Reef Herons seeming to have breed everywhere. Some waders are beginning to return with Greater Sandplover being the most prominent many still in fading breeding plumage. Lesser Sand and Grey Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Curlew, Whimbrel, Redshank and a few little stint added further variety to the shore. locally breeding Little and Saunders's Terns along with huge numbers of Kentish Plovers still dominate many areas but the numbers of Slender-billed Gulls and Famingo along with good numbers of Caspian Terns are beginning to increase.
The gardens are still quiet but interest still remains by way of exotic species, breeding escapes that seem to have managed to thrive. southern Red Bishops, Pin-tailed Wydah and Red-bill Quelea keep popping up everywhere. The most intersting newly recorded species for us however is the White-spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthopygos, Chris Moorey and myself saw a single individual at Hamalah some six weeks back and I by chance have one other in my compound garden in Manama - The Red-vented and White-cheeked Bulbuls get very upset when its around. A native around Arabia we wonder if these abservations are the start of an increase in breeding range. This territorial behaviour has made getting a picture dificult but I remain hopeful.
White-cheecked Terns the eternal opportunist breed almost anywhere - some of the many on the reclaimed land at Busaiteen.
Western Reef Heron are a common breeding species around all coast and wetland sites
White-winged Black Tern left front - found at the mangroves at Ras Sanad two young Litle terns right and a Slender-billed Gull at the rear
Striated or Green-backed Heron barely visible in the mangroves at Ras Sanad
Juvenille Saunders's Tern
Kentish Plover juvenile
Glossy Ibis one of two at Buhair valley
This Squacco Heron a very dark chocholate brown on the back looks so different to all the others who still are a beautiful buffish tanned brown that it could easily be mistaken for a Indian Pond Heron but the steaking on the breast and flanks are more consistant with Juvenile Squacco
Greater Sand Plover
the migration such as it was this year has definitely finished leaving only a few late departures our summer breeding and resident birds
Lesser Sand Plover with a Kentish Plover behind
Western Reef Heron
Hundreds of Red-backed Shrikes led the list of migrants these past two weeks. The best birds seen were a Corncrake and Cinereous Bunting both at Buri on the 10th unfortunately neither was photographed. Also numerous were willow Warblers that passed in their hundreds and Lesser Grey Shrike with a good showing along with Spotted Flycatchers.
Indian Silverbill way out in the desert on the Jebel of all places
After Thursdays storm more species seem to be around than previously seen but even then this years migration less dramatic than previous years - question is has wide spread regional winter rains allowed birds to move on a broader front or is climate change having an effect on migration patterns?
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The Fauna of Arabia 2006
Small Birds of Prey and Owls
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