These last weekends I covered a variety of habitats looking for any new species that is passing - I found little change in the shorebirds and gardens populations other than Skylarks Water and Meow Pipit that have now arrived in numbers but the Jebel Al Dakhan did produce a few surprises. Reported first in the week I was fortunate enough to get some images on the Jebel of the Short Toed Snake Eagle that had been seen south of Riffa. Had it not moved from its high rocky perch to another location I doubt that I would have noticed it.
The other surprise was with the Whitecrowned Black Wheatears the two seen on the Jebel over the last three weeks turned into three with another specimen turning up on the western flank. However I still have not been able to find a single Mourning Wheatear but there are also good numbers of Desert, Isabelline and Red-tailed wheatears to be found.
From the Gardens
Red-tailed Wheatear this one from Buhair valley
The ever present Crested Lark
These last two days we had a two day Holiday for Ashora so I spent one day in the desert areas around the Jebel with the other in and around the greener corners of the western side of the Island. Compared with previous years it remains quiet however most noticeable was the complete lack of warblers not a single bird was seen.
White-crowned Black Wheatear now two on the Jebel - hopefully they will stay for some time and allow a closer approach
Pied and Isabelline remain numerous while often seen Red-tailed wheatear remained flighty however despite extensive searches I failed to locate a single Mourning Wheatear
Desert Larks - over a dozen were seen just around the Jebel
3 Collared Pratincole were found at Hamalah always approachable they are an endearing species
Stonechats numbers are beginning to build for this colourful winter resident
The weekend was relatively quiet for new migrants but the weekend was made rather special with the observation of a single Sociable Plover at Buri. Found on recently ploughed ground I spent hours waiting for the bird to move into a position where I could get some reasonable photographs, which proved to be worth the wait.
Jasra, a small flock of Grey Hypocolius was found early on Friday morning unfortunately badly placed for photography
Grey Grey Shrike - more numerous this year than last this one from Dumistan
Pied Wheatear still very common with many not having having moved on as yet
With the Islamic New Year Holiday on Sunday I was able to used the extra time I was able to use the weekend to visit the Islands of Hawar. The outer Islands all twenty plus of them are a very special place, an undisturbed paradise a naturalists dream. With the Socotra Cormorants now nesting on the northern most Islands the Rubuds, the others islands are now relatvely quiet in terms of bird movements with Osprey the most obvious species. Just beginning to reoccupy their nests ready for the breeding season around twenty pairs will eventually breed but the biggest surprise was that of a solitary Sooty Falcon found still present. They have normally left by now for southern wintering grounds around Madagascar after completing their summer breeding cycle. With just a few straggerlers left the thousands of White Cheeked terns and Lesser Crested terns had also dispersed away from the Islands most south to the Indian Ocean, being replaced by large wintering flocks of Slender-billed gulls. A lot of small indentified migrants were also seen skipping between the islands as I motored around in the boat. Even though only a short visit with no time to undertake any serious observations it was a superb break away from my normal haunts which I fitted in on the Sunday.
Hawar Osprey nests
a distant Sooty Falcon - easly missed in the landscape
From out and about
Great Grey Shrike
Some the escapes doing well around Adhari
Temperatures are still much higher than normal which seems to have discouraged many birds from moving south. Diasppointing is the best way to desribe numbers recored but we wait for next week. Best bird of the weekend was the first Hypocolius of the season seen briefly at Hamalah
perched Isabelline Shrike and Isabelline Wheatear
:: Next Page >>
Home of the
Bahrain Bird Report
On line since 1994