On both Friday and Saturday heavy fog blanketed most of my favorite birding sites. At the Jasra roost each morning for the Hypocolius I could hear the assembled flock but only managed to glimpse a few departing shadows. By the time the fog lifted around 7 all but a few had departed. The heavy dew did however provide an opportunity to see some species normally skulking in the undergrowth including some of our odd ball escapes.
Corn Bunting - over thrirty at Hamalah
Skylark one of hundreds
Bimaculated Lark - five at Hamalah, one at Buri
Great Grey Shrike
A female of something
After last weekends disaster when rain and gales stopped play it was good to get out and chase birds around the many puddles that last weeks storm left - nothing exceptional except four Bimaculated larks at Hamalah but good birding never the less. Saturday was restricted by road closures for the Triathalon so I concentrated on Busaiteen shorelines but with a low tide not the best time for photography but good numbers of wintering species seen.
Spotted Munia originally an escape now seen across the Island
Grey Hypocolius from Jasra - arriving early over a hundred not so confiding birds were seen
Bimaculated Lark four seen on farmland in Hamalah no chance for closeups unfortunately
Osprey at an inland site
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
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