2016-01-17

A quiet return but rarities add spice

Permalink 15:43:12, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Returned from a washed out Christmas and New Year break in the UK to the much warmer climate of Bahrain even if at times it is a little breezy. Not a lot new around species wise but a few rarities did brighten things up.

While I was away a Linnet was found and photographed in Jid Ali by several people will put those in December obs while a male Chaffinch turned up at Hamalah to keep the female first seen there in December company.

Chaffinch
Chaffinch

The pair
Chaffinch

Female
Chaffinch

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Ist winter Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Corn Bunting one of many
Corn Bunting

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Skylarks are everywhere
Skylark

Stonechat
Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

Siberian Stonechat female
Stonechat

Siberian Stonechat male
Stonechat

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Namaqua Dove
Namaqua Dove

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Kestrel
Kestrel

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

Crested Lark
Crested Lark

Permalink

2015-12-13

Strong winds and rain showers

Permalink 16:57:46, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Last post of the year shall be away through Christmas

Strong winds and last months rain showers made access for observations difficult at times, there is nothing worse than being stuck in the mud. Even the desert is treacherous at this time; soft sand gains a hard crust, break through that at your peril if you want to get a nasty sinking feeling.

The month was interesting to say the least as the hunt for winter rarities turned up a Chaffinch, a sporadic winter visitor at Hamalah. Mind you it took me two weeks to finally get a photograph, otherwise standard winter fair other than to report the two Pied Kingfishers at Adhari grew to three with two more found in residence at Buhair ponds.A steppe Buzzard was really the only other notable species recored during the last two weeks.

Chaffinch at Hamalah
Chaffinch

Chaffinch

Steppe Buzzard at Hamalah
Steppe Buzzard

Steppe Buzzard

Black-necked Grebe at Buhair others now wintering Tubli and at the race course
Black-necked Grebe

Keeping company with little Grebes
Black-necked Grebe

Pied Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Corn Bunting over twenty wintering at Hamalah
Corn Bunting

Blue-throat now numerous and wide spread
Blue-throat

Sparrow Hawk
Sparrow Hawk

Marsh Harrier this one over Ras Sanad
Marsh Harrier

Red-tailed Wheatear around a dozen on the Jebel Dakhan
Redtailed Wheatear

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt

Curlew only one on the fields whereas hundred along the shore
Curlew

Hypocolius - took Willi Firbas from birdlife Internation Austria visiting his family here to view, over 300 seen that morning
Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Skylark
Skylark

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Greenshank
Greenshank

Rose-ringed Parakeet and Mynah squabble over landing rights
squarkers

Scally Breasted Munia
Scally Breasted Munia

A Bishop possibly Yellow-crowned Bishop (juvenile)
Weaver

Namaqua Doves
Namaqua Doves

Permalink

2015-11-21

Migrants remain slow but rarities shine

Permalink 19:02:42, Categories: Observation by Howard  

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.

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

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
Siskin

Siskin

Next was this WoodLark at Adhari - a first for me and only the 4th record for Bahrain on the 21st
Wood Lark

Wood Lark

Stonechats are everywhere here both male and female together at Buri
Stonechats

Squacco Heron numbers increasing now a successful resident breeder
Squacco Heron

Night Heron moving from juvenile to adult plumage
Night Heron

Littern Bittern a male
Littern Bittern

Kingfisher
Kingfisher

Great Reed Warbler
Great Reed Warbler

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Curlew the birds that occupy the fields are different from those that occure solely on the shore
Curlew

Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Graceful Warbler - Prinia
Prinia

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Mongoose
Mongoose

Isabeline Wheatear
Isabeline Wheatear

Hypocolius at the morning collectioon point in Jasra now over 300 present
Hypocolius

Permalink

2015-11-08

Some new arrivals but migration remains slow

Permalink 17:35:45, Categories: Observation by Howard  

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
Clamourous Reed Warbler

Desert Wheatear good numbers now
Desert Wheatear

Grey Hypocolius
Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Purple Heron
Purple Heron

Coot
Coot

Moorhen - juvenile
Moorhen

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Great Northern Cormorant over flying the island - something Socotra would never do
Great Northern Cormorant

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Skylarks
Skylarks

Stonechat
Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Water Pipit

Water Pipit

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

Permalink

2015-10-31

Hot weather affecting migration and birds at risk

Permalink 16:19:40, Categories: Observation by Howard  

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.


Pied Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher

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

Broad-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Broad-billed Sandpiper

In with curlew Sandpipers
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper taking up wintering quarters
Common Sandpiper

Curlew hundred in several flocks seen
Curlew

Dunlin thousand the most numerous wader
Dunlin

Ringed Plover
Ringed plover

mixed waders
waders

waders

waders

waders

waders

White-winged Tern
White-winged Tern

Greenshank
Greenshank

Terek Sandpipers
Terek Sandpipers

Redshank
Redshank

Redshank

Baltic/heuglins Gull
Baltic Gull

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Juvenile Flamingo
Juvenile Flamingo

Permalink

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