2016-08-28

A great weekend - migration return wait over

Permalink 14:36:58, Categories: Observation by Howard  

It started as just another hot and humid late August morning but by the time I had returned home on Friday I knew that it had been a rather special day. It wasn't so much that I had seen a good number of returning species it was the fact that I had been able to get some reasonable photographs of species I had not expected so early on in the season. Then there was Saturday had an meeting on Hawar with potential developers, can say openly and honestly I gave them a hard time. I most certainly left them with food for thought. However what made the day worthwhile was our return encounter with a sizeable Socotra Cormorant fishing party there were 10 of thousands moving along the shore close to Durat as we got nearly home. Sadly the camera played up misting lens and lack of space on the dicc didn't help but I did manage a few decent shots.


Egyptian Nightjar - the last time I encountered one in the day time I didn't have my camera so this was a joy to take
Egyptian Nightjar

Bee-eater one of many seen
Bee-eater

Citrine Wagtail a real surprise
Citrine Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail a good number around
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Cream-coloured Courser a regular August species from post-breeding dispersal in Arabia major
Cream-coloured Courser

Cream-coloured Courser

Isabelline Wheatear always one of the first back to take up winter residence - many seen
Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear

Green Sandpiper and with a couple of Pratincole's in the frame
Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper one singled out
Green Sandpiper

Juvenile Pratincole
Juvenile Pratincole

Juvenile Pratincole

Roller finishing a meal
Roller

Ruff few seen of what I assume to be several family parties
Ruff

Ruff

Rufous Bushchat nice to see one of many summer breeding visitors
Rufous Bushchat

Socotra Cormorant
Socotra Cormorant

a tiny franction of the fishing foray more images to come
Socotra cormorants

Permalink

2016-08-21

Weather still extreme at 40c'+ with very high humidity

Permalink 15:12:42, Categories: Observation by Howard  

August is a month when staying at home is the best option but after an enforced layoff of a couple of weeks one has to get out - the shoreline is full of waders as more pile in to fatten up before moving on. Along with our summer breeding species any trip out can be special even spectacular.

This weekend I spent Friday on the Muharraq shore and on Saturday took a boat trip around the entire Island with friends starting and finishing at Durat - a journey that took 5 hours and covered nearly 200kms Hotter than hell but amazing to do!

Pictures this week in no particular order and not all species pointed outwher numerous are seen

Bridled Tern one of many seen on our boat trip
Bridled Tern

Broad-billed Sandpiper - large influx
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Preening Curlew Sandpiper along with snoozing a Broad-billed Sandpiper
curlew SP and broad- billed SP

Curlew Sandpiper most numerous wader this week on the shore
Curlew Sandpiper

A solitary Dunlin lost in a flock of Curlew Sandpipers
Dunlin Curlew SP

Bar-tailed Godwit sizeable flocks seen
Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Greenshank
Greenshank

Gulled-billed Tern
Gulled-billed Tern

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Little Stint
Little Stint

Little Stint

Little Stint

Little Tern
Little Tern

Mixed bag of species most prominent the Gull-billed Tern
Mixed bag of species

Mixed bag of species most prominent the Grey Plover
Mixed bag of species

Mixed bag of species most prominent the Curlew Sandpiper
Mixed bag of species

Oystercatcher in flock of Godwits
Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

Redshank large flocks
Redshank

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Socotra Cormorants
Socotra Cormorants

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper with Curlew Sandplover
Terek with Curlew Sandplover

Turnstone
Turnstone

Waders spoilt for choice at many small sites on the high tide

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

Permalink

2016-07-18

Getting hotter as shoreline returns continue

Permalink 17:52:05, Categories: Observation by Howard  

It takes no great skill to get decent pictures of Greater Sand Plover at this time of the year, they are both numerous and very prominent on the shore besides being very easy to approach however, this situation will rapidly change as other waders start their return passage as the month progresses. Most will stay to build up body fat before moving on in a southerly direction but a surprising number will stay the duration of the winter. Just which breeding wader populations we have in the Gulf has never been scientifically proven, ringed returns have been minimal not enough even to suggest probabilities.

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Kentish Plover do flock at high tide but otherwise remain paired or in family groups along the shore
Kentish Plover

Socotra Cormorant are still fairly common but birds will soon disappear to their breeding island in Hawar
Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Lesser Crested Tern currently only small numbers on the shore on fishing forays with breeding in full swing on offshore islands currently peaking
Lesser Crested Tern

White-cheeked Tern an opportunistic breeder on the main island now many with fully fledged and mobile chicks
numbers will dramatically increase as they are joined by offshore breeding populations
White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

Curlew Sandpiper now returning in increasing numbers
Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew now a prominent species with a dramatic increase in numbers this last week
Curlew

Curlew

Curlew

Curlew

Curlew

Curlew

Bar-tailed Godwit small flocks seen expect more to arrive anytime soon
Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit

Greenshank starting to make a show along with the slightly more numerous Redshank
Greenshank

Redshank
Redshank

Whimbrel one of those species where some don't migrate but with more being seen migrants could be the reason for the increase
Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Western Reef Heron in the middle of their breeding cycle fishing is the most important part of their daily routine methodology used does vary
Western Reef Heron

Reef Heron and Redshank share the shore
reef heron

Curlew and Redshank
Curlew

Terek Sandpiper first returns just being noted
Terek Sandpiper

As always we have our more common species keeping every neighborhood company
White-cheeked Bulbul
White-cheeked Bulbul

Crested Lark
Crested Lark

and then the oddities like this resident breeding Alexandrine Parakeet
Alexandrine Parakeet

Permalink

2016-06-26

Locally breeding species and the first migrant returns

Permalink 17:31:29, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Is is that time of the year again to check regularly for locally breeding birds particularly in and around our few wetland sites, one never knows what will turn up there - and then there is the shore - to check for breeding species and the first returning waders. Elsewhere there is still plenty of time to go before first records of the passerines will start showing up mixing with those locally breeding species but still a lot of ground to cover in the meantime often with little in return. Can be more a question often of glimpsed or heard, rather than fully observed.

Black-crowned Night Heron a very visible day time species at the moment making observations quite easy
Black-crowned Night Heron

One of many juvenile birds seen note a young bird the eye has yet to turn orange/red
Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-winged Stilt an early breeder in April and May
Black-winged Stilt

Kentish Plover Chick smallest youngest seen most probably from a second brood
Kentish Plover Chick

Lesser Crested Tern just started breeding currently on offshore Islands
Lesser Crested Tern

Little Grebe juvenile this one independent and well developed but others still still dependent on adults
Little Grebe juvenile

Little Grebe juvenile

Little Grebe juvenile

Little Grebe juvenile

Little Grebe juvenile

Little Tern Chick breeding more wide spread this year
Little Tern Chick

Little Tern Chick

Little Tern

Little Tern

Saunders's Tern breeds slightly earlier than Little - chicks far more advanced
Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern juvenile

Socotra Cormorant will start breeding in late September on Hawar here a first year bird
Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Squacco Heron - breeding well advanced one fledged chick seen so far
Squacco Heron

White-cheeked Tern breeding season well advanced not fussy about habitat for breeding any quiet corner near the shore will do
White-cheeked Tern

Western Reef Heron extensive season well underway breeding in mangrove on coastal scrub, bushes and even trees
Western Reef Heron

Returns on the shore
Greater Sand Plover return increasing
Greater Sand Plover

Interesting picture - extreme left locally breeding Kentish Plover and on the hard right a Lesser Sand Plover - central birds all Greater Sands
Mixed Plovers

Lesser Sand Plover (hard right)
Lesser Sand Plover
Some of the central birds
Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover post breeding molt starting
Greater Sand Plover molt

Greater Sand Plover molt

Dunlin a very early arrival
Dunlin

Dunlin

Ragged yet very interesting 2nd year birds - have they been somewhere and returned or have Black Headed Gulls breed locally
Black Headed Gull

Black Headed Gull

Black Headed Gull

Permalink

2016-06-10

getting hotter but strong winds bring sand

Permalink 20:22:30, Categories: Observation by Howard  

As each week passes we see a noticeable increase in daily temperatures, already some days have hit the 42c mark but we have been let of the hook this last week with persisting strong Al Bareh winds and widespread sandstorms which has kept of late temps down below 40c. It won't last of course humidity will steadily increase as well and soon we will be registering apparent temps in the 50c plus range. Then its time to take some leave.

Not much in fact very little to report from the gardens and desert spaces nothing worthy of note seen to report. On the shore its getting busy again as our first returns arrive back. The few summering waders - a few Curlew, Turnstone, Godwits, Green and Redshank, Ringed Plover - have been joined by Greater Sand Plover mostly adults and many showing still plenty of colour. Terns are as usual plentiful with Saunders's, little, White-cheeked, breeding locally occasionally joined by Lesser Crested which breed on offshore Islands. No Bridled Terns seen also an offshore breeder yet on the main Island but that will change towards the end of their season in late August beginning of September. Small flocks of Caspian Tern can also be found watched carefully by our locally breeding pairs who maintain their territorial vigilance in any quiet corner of the shoreline. They will breed from Late September early October. Western Reef Herons with their offspring are now also noticeable on the shore.

Curlew
Curlew

Curlew

Redshank
Redshank

Caspian Terns
Caspian Terns

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Kentish Plover

Kentish Plover

Saunders's Tern
Saunders's Tern

Saunders Tern chick
Saunders's Tern Chick

Lesser Crested Tern
Lesser Crested Tern

Socotra Cormorant
Socotra Cormorant

White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Permalink

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