The migration remains slow but among the birds seen were three rarities that make last few week outstanding
First up was a Yellow-browed Warbler (5th record)that had found its way ito a breeding avairy in Jidhafs on the 15th, the owner removed, photographed and released the bird.
In Buri seen for the briefest of moments allowing but a single shot this Siskin was found on the 20th. A first for me and the 8th record for Bahrain
Next was this WoodLark at Adhari - a first for me and only the 4th record for Bahrain on the 21st
Stonechats are everywhere here both male and female together at Buri
Squacco Heron numbers increasing now a successful resident breeder
Night Heron moving from juvenile to adult plumage
Littern Bittern a male
Great Reed Warbler
Great Grey Shrike
Curlew the birds that occupy the fields are different from those that occure solely on the shore
Graceful Warbler - Prinia
Hypocolius at the morning collectioon point in Jasra now over 300 present
Better late than never this weekend saw an increase in activity with the arrival of pipits and larks but warblers remain hard to find. A visit to the morning collection point in Jasra for the Hypocolius however proved fruitfal with more birds passing through than previously seen, over 200 this time.
Clamourous Reed Warbler now an established local vocal breeding species
Desert Wheatear good numbers now
Moorhen - juvenile
Great Northern Cormorant over flying the island - something Socotra would never do
Without a doubt land birds have been seriously affected by the hotter than usual temperatures in Bahrain this year with observation of the numbers of migrant species declining dramatically. The variety has gone - warblers are almost totally lacking, as are many lark and pipit species. Thrush Rollers and Oriels and many shrikes species either missing entirely from the record or only briefly glimpsed. With heavy rains and more irrigated areas in parts of Arabia making for larger green patches there and given the decreasing green spaces and open water here - are species changing their routes ignoring Bahrain - the lack of variety and numbers certainly makes me wonder. Even those that make it here now run the risk of being trapped the fate of many Wheatears and Kestrels or shot if you are a duck and water birds despite legislation banning hunting. A complete lack of environmental enforcement is to blame on this count - little point passing laws and having great legislation without application. This year I have seen an increase of trapping from Maharraq to the southern desert. It has to stop as does the rampant destruction of water courses, the grubbing up of thorn and other native trees plus the continual dumping of building waste on every bit of open ground. Is anybody actually managing the environment is a question I ask myself continuously every time I go out. Take a look at the litter now already visible around Sakir camping grounds to answer that question.
To start with a Pied Kingfisher in the ditches behind Adhari Park - an area that environmentally needs minimal improvement yet is earmarked for so-called accessibility preplanning - a prelude to development if you ask me - its time planners and those green finger consultants started going out and actually observing what is there in the way of endangered species - terrapins, frogs, fish, birds etc. they might then reconsider the nature of their so called improvement plans.
So back to what I did see thankfully we still have the shore and waders despite the best efforts of developers and planners to destroy much of the intertidal zone with new reclaimation however thanks to settlement time some good habitat still exists which compensated in a small way.
Extreme high tides this week brought a lot of waders to the shore
In with curlew Sandpipers
Common Sandpiper taking up wintering quarters
Curlew hundred in several flocks seen
Dunlin thousand the most numerous wader
Species count is beginning to increase as winter regulars begin to be recored however many passage migrant species normally seen during this period have either pass us by entirely or failed to turn up, have not been seen at all. For instance there is a distinct shortage of Warblers and larks.
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater this one with a deformed beak struggles with a grasshopper
Black-crowned Night Heron - a barely fledged juenile
Chiffchaff still only a few seen
Great White Egret
Indian House Crow
Still slow - but think the higher than normal temperature might be holding birds back - this weekend saw a lot more pied wheatears but only a single Desert while in contrast Duck numbers seem to be up especially at Tubli
large flocks of Slender-billed Gulls all around northern shores
Greater Sand Plover now moving into drab winter plumage
Lesser Sand Plover
Gull-billed Tern in scattered small flocks
Lesser Crested Tern now moving onshore after breeding
Sand Martin unusal to find one having a sand bath
Sacred Ibis a ferral breeding species
Shoveller - large numbers at Tubli along with smaller numbers Mallard Teal Garganey Pintails
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