2015-03-07

Better weather brings more migrant species

Permalink 20:04:29, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Better weather this weekend brought a lot more species - most obvious were again Wheatear species, Woodchat Shrikes, Yellow Wagtails and Willow Warblers with Ruff, Wood Sandpipers and Glossy Ibis in good numbers around watering holes.

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Siberian Stonechat
Siberian Stonechat

Stonechat
Stonechat

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

Lesser Short-toed lark
Lesser Short-toed Lark

Kestrel
Kestrel

Starling
Starling

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Permalink

2015-02-28

Migration and spring begins to kick in

Permalink 15:31:24, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The weather has improved the cold starts and blustery winds have died away and at last new species are beginning to turn up as the migration season starts to get into full swing. Although seen Warblers, thrushes and larks remain illusive in front of the camera.

Probably the last photo opportunity before they move out for Bluethroat proves to be the best

Bluethroat
c

Pied Wheatear good numbers in all locations
Pied Wheatear

Blackeared wheatear
Blackeared Wheatear

Blackeared Wheatear

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Stonechat
Stonechat

Tawny Pipits
Tawny Pipits

Blue Rock Thrush
Blue Rock Thrush

Black Kite just passed on through
Black Kite

Pallid Harrier along with Marsh still wintering
Pallid Harrier

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Starling
Starling

Red Rumped Swallow
Red Rumped Swallow

Black winged Stilt
Black winged Stilt

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Flamingo
Flamingo

Little Stint
Little Stint

Temminks's Stint
Temminks's Stint

Yellow-billed Stork wildbird? it has no ring
Yellow-billed stork

Yellow-billed stork

Ruff
Ruff

Greenshank passes by
Green shank

Wood Sandpiper - ringed
Wood Sandpiper

Snipe
Snipe

Permalink

2015-02-14

Bad weather and only a few migrants birds

Permalink 15:23:43, Categories: Observation by Howard, Admin - Howard King  

The last few weeks we have expienced extended periods of high winds and bad visibilty due to dust. Add to this a shortage of new migrant species passing, birding in generally has been low key. A few Pied Wheatear where noted this weekend along with a lot more Chiffchaffs indicating that this situation should change soon. I spent a considerable ammount of time looking for a ringed Flamingo on Tubli Bay after Abdulla Kabi our local ringer spotted one at the sewage outfall at Tubli. Needless to say by the time I got there it had diasappeared amongst the thousand currently resident.

Desert Warbler one of my favourite species wintering species this one was found at Buhair
Desert Warbler

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Isabelline Shrike just one of many
Isabelline Shrike

Skylark
Skylark

Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow

Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Snipe
Snipe

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Clamourous Reed Warbler
Clamourous Reed Warbler

Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Redshank
Redshank

Curlew
Curlew

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Ring Plover
Ring Plover

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

Oyster Catchers
Oyster Catchers

Permalink

2015-01-25

Rain and high tides makes for good birding

Permalink 17:03:01, Categories: Observation by Howard  

This weeks rain did produce some good puddles in unusual places, such pools generally bring out of cover species that otherwise are difficult to photograph. Unfortunately this year the rains were early and before the main migration has started so the results thus far have been limited. Bluethroat were one species that after weeks of chasing however were easy to find out in the open. The long weekends (a consequence of the sad passing of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia) coincided with the high morning tides, occuring close to sunrise each day this brought onto shore large flocks of roosting waders - always an easy way to get a good feel for the number of birds and species around at any given moment.

One mystery however were these Greater Sand Plover - unusal to say the least to find them in late January in such an advance state of breeding moult


Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

From the gardens

Siberian Stonechat
Siberian Stonechat

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Issabelline Wheatear
Issabelline Wheatear

Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Not the best photo but an orange spot
Bluethroat

Sunrise on the shore

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper

Turnstone
Turnstone

Little Stint
Little Stint

Dunlin
Dunlin

Mixed roost
Island

Many Lesser Sandplover with some Dunlin Little Stind mixed in
Small Waders

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Around the shore

Gull-billed Tern
Gull-billed Tern

Gull-billed Tern

Gull-billed Tern

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Greenshank
Greenshank

Redshank
Redshank

Redshank

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Flamingo
Flamingo

Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

Western Reef Heron - dark
Western Reef Heron

Western Reef Heron - light
Western Reef Heron

Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Kingfisher from the lagoon in front of Arad Fort
Kingfisher

Permalink

2015-01-17

A good weekend at desert wetspots and in the gardens

Permalink 15:41:33, Categories: Observation by Howard  

After last weeks cold snap the weekend weather although foggy at the start on both Friday and Saturday was much much seasonal - warm with a fresh breeze. With a low morning tide I spent the weekend in checking on our winter visitors having been away for Christmas and New Year in and around my favourite gardens and the wet spots in the south.

Buhair provided some interesting observations but given the size of the site it proved as always difficult to get close to many species seen. I was surprised by the number of Warblers noted - Chiffchaff Great Reed most likely Clamouraous Desert Warblers plus several unidentified species were seen. Serveral Snipe, Green Sand Piper and Citrine Wagtails along with at least two Marsh Harriers made the visit interesting. On the ponds as expected huge numbers of Black-winged Stilt, Blackheaded Gulls, Egrets and Herons with Moorhen, Little Grebe and a solitary Coot but no marsh or little tern seen hunting. The Rocky areas produced few Wheatears, a couple of Isabelline and a single Desert where the only ones observed.

In the desert areas under the eastern rim rock at the various green spots used for waste water disposal large numbers of small waders where seen but nothing exceptional.

The Gardens at Buri Hamalah and along the nothern fringe produced no surprises and remained generally quiet however it is always nice to see close up many of our wintering species. I failed to get a single picture of the many Bluethroats or meadow pipits seen. The Number of Corn bunting has dramatically increased since before Christmas as has the number of Skylarks including Small or Oriental.

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Moorhen
Moorhen

Little Stint
Little Stint

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Green Sand Piper
Green Sand Piper

Snipe
Snipe

Coot
Coot

Citrine Wagtail
Citrine Wagtail

Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt

Great White Egret
Great White Egret

Fancy Pigeon - one of many now to be seen around the desert
Fancy Pigeon

Desert Hyacinth
Desert Hyacinth

many bushes and shrubs now in bloosom
in flower

in flower

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

From the gardens
Stonechat
Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow

Graceful Warbler
Graceful Warbler

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Kestrel
Kestrel

Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier

Permalink

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