Archives for: December 2006


Finsch's Wheatear ??

Permalink 01:47:46 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Norman D.van Swelm visited Bahrain in October 2000 and photographed this Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii if accepted this will be Bahrains 7th record for this species

If you have old or current observations for Bahrain then please let me know we will consider listing any interesting observations.



Fulvous Whistling Duck

Permalink 08:11:52 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

In recent years an increasing number of Fulvous Whistling Ducks Dendrocygna bicolor have been noted out and about around Bahrain. Kept initially as part of the Al Areen Wildlife Park collection they have successfully become a feral breeding species in Bahrain often seen on other local inland waters, such as the Race Course Lake and Buhair ponds. At the Ritz Carlton Hotel gardens they breed quite openly around the large ornamental lake.

As long ago as 1994/95 Paul Castle and I observed on numerous occasions free flying individual mixed with flocks of Teal in the reserve area at Al Areen so we have now to consider including it on our Check List as category C (escaped/introduced) feral breeding species.

I would be interested to know as to its status elsewhere around the region, and even of its occurrence around Europe.

© A J Drummond-Hill

© A J Drummond-Hill



Brambling Linnet and some more Hypocolius

Permalink 07:43:04, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Greetings from an unusually wet and windy Bahrain - thunderstorms including hail and heavy overcast skies persist - a rare event here - is the El nino starting up again - if so I know from passed experience that our winter breeding Socotra Cormorants will suffer higher than usual fatalities amongst the chicks due to hypothermia. In 1997 we lost most of that years breeding stock - chicks and eggs to heavy rain - 1997 was I believe an El Nino year - This was the last year we had persistent heavy rain that made it down to the Hawar Islands and the colony.

Socotra Cormorant Colony
© Juhani Kyyrö (

On the observational front - possibly due also to the weather some of our rarer vagrants have been turning up - yesterday at Badaan Farm we had Brambling - our 12th record and Linnet our 4th record. Large numbers of various Larks pipits and wagtails otherwise dominated the fields at Badaan, but also observed again this week there were the long staying Bittern and Purple Heron - Short-eared owl, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (late departure), Song Thrush (wintering arrival) and Corn Buntings and a single flock of well over 100 Grey Hypocolius. The Hypocolius were seen to rise from an adjacent heavily wooded area of palms and acacia at 6-00 in the morning I regard this as being indicative of the presence of a small roost in that area. It is highly unlikely that this flock would have made here from other known roosting locations that close to dawn. We will follow this up.

On the ringing front high winds made things a little difficult but we did manage to ring five more Hypocolius and a Lesser Whitethroat at the Saar Roost.

Good photography was frustrated as were both Jahani and Adrian as a consequence but both did get distant shots of the Brambling but the Linnet eluded them.

Please excuse the poor quality of this image but it was taken at 50 mts in the rain and near dark with a flash - hand held lens 800mm - I'm surprised it even turned out

A minor consolation was that the Avadavats (resident breeder) were accessible and some reasonable shots were taken of a male by both- for one of Adrian's efforts see the following page O&B with AJ- a flash had to be used for these daylight shots it was so dark.

If anybody can positively identify the first picture on that page we would like to here from you - another African escape- we have been told its a Redbilled Quelea but our humble field guide does not mention a red eye ring as can be seen in the photo - surely for such a prominent feature it would have been.


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