Archives for: 2008

2008-12-17

Houbara Bustard

Permalink 06:37:48 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Brendan found a Houbara Bustard at the Hamalah experimental Farm on the 13th photos from Brendan

Houbara Bustard

Houbara Bustard

Permalink

Permalink 01:34:16 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

I am off to the UK soon but I spent a few afternoons out around Maharraq this week before leaving

A Desert Wheatear and White Wagtail
mixd bag

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper

A young Socotra Cormorant - this years bird with breeding taking place between October and March
socotra cormorant

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

A dunlin still hanging on to some black belly markings
Dunlin

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

A rather distant Mourning Wheatear near Asrey
Mourning Wheatear

Oyster Catcher probably a first year showing a large white collar
Oyster Catcher

Lesser Crested Terns
Lesser Crested Terns

Lesser Sandplover - the more distant one still showing evidence of summer plumage
Lesser Sandplovers

Slender-billed Gulls
Slender-billed Gulls

Hard work going through the waders when all heads are down
Waders

An interesting picture how many species can you see
waders

White Wagtail
White WagtailWhite Wagtail

Permalink

2008-11-30

A great weekend for rare species

Permalink 10:18:20, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The highlight of the weekend had to be the Little Green Bee-eater (3rd record) observed and the female Chaffinch (7th record) ringed, both on Saturday at Badaan Farm. The weather was dull and overcast with occasional light drizzle which raised a few puddles around the place with the wind fairly strong at times from the NW. I alone saw the bee-eater the first record since several were seen on the Islands of Hawar in 2000. I have seen many in the UAE and Oman previously where they are a local breeding species. After the initial sighting the bird hawked insects out in the center of one of the crop circles before disappearing south unlike the other Blue-cheeked and European Bee-eaters that sit on the electrical wires and hawk insects almost around your head.

The Chaffinch was a big surprise caught late in the afternoon on Saturday it was the only bird trapped during a remarkably dull session in the afternoon. Flush out of undergrowth while checking the nets I initially could only seen the greenish rump and was surprised when I had the bird in the hand to find it a Chaffinch, our first this century. Needless to say Brendan was even more surprised as it was both a ringing and country first for him.

Chaffinch - Female
Chaffinch - Female

Otherwise it was generally a quiet weekend.
Bee-eater - this time it was the turn of the European Bee-eaters to sit out on the road
Bee-eater

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

Isabelline Shrikes are now a very common sight
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

A Kestrel takes a break from hunting
Kestrel

The number of Lapwing around Badaan has grown to six
Lapwing

Namaqua Doves
Namaqua Dove

Namaqua Dove

Desert Wheatear have moved in for the winter
Desert Wheatear

Tawny Pipit another wintering species
Tawny Pipit

Indian Silver Bills looking bored
Indian Silver Bills

A Hoopoe shelters from the wind and rain
Hoopoe

Flamingoes at Ras Tubli
Flamingoes at Ras Tubli

Black-winged Stilt caught at sunset
Black-winged stilt

Permalink

2008-11-27

On the Manama shore

Permalink 07:39:05, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Spent some time looking at birds along the beach front nearest to my house yesterday, the area alongside the Grand Mosque near the Gulf Hotel. A good number and mix of distant and unapproachable waders with the odd Heron, cormorant, gull and tern were seen.

I did not take many pictures as the light was fading fast.

Greenshank and Curlew
Greenshank and Curlew

Dark morph Western Reef Heron
Dark morph Western Reef Heron

Kentish Plover one of the more numerous species
Kentish Plover

Kentish Plover

Permalink

2008-11-22

Not too many species but a good days birding

Permalink 07:03:46 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

A pleasant return to Badaan today after a birdless trip around the Far East - Where have all the town birds gone in China one has to ask.

Both European and Blue-cheeked Bee-eater were around in good numbers but only the Blue-cheeked sat around on the ground begging to be photographed.
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

This Squacco Heron has been around for a fews weeks
Squacco Heron

Stonechats seem to be every where

Male
Male Stonechat

Female
Female Stonechat

Over a dozen Isabelline Shrikes are scattered around the farm each with their preferred perch and territory add a few Lesser and the odd Great Grey - the farm looks more like Shrike city.
Isabelline Shrike

Geat Grey Shrike
Grey Shrike

Always one or two Snipe around the ditches - but missed a Jack Snipe which took me by surprise.
Snipe

Our resident Little Egret
Little Egret

Indian Mongoose I love them but Brendan barely tolerates them - they stalk his nets looking for an easy dinner.
Indian Mongoose

Short-eared Owl - this one proved easy to capture and ring later in the morning
Short-eared Owl

Desert Wheatear a change from the more numerous Isabelline that are around
Desert Wheatear

Part of the flock of thirty plus Starling around the farm this weekend
starling

Corn Bunting - one of many seen but never in a good position for a nice photo
Corn Bunting

Common Sandpiper this one was ringed several weeks back while I was away
Common Sandpiper

Several Bluethroat were seen but always at a distance - as the winter goes on they will become more confiding I am sure
Bluethroat

Permalink

2008-11-01

Another country first

Permalink 08:28:32 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Brendan Kavanagh with his two visiting bird ringers, Declan and Patrick spotted four black storks yesterday 31st October. The birds were very timid and took off on a thermal. Declan ID'd the birds.

(Look what you're missing Howard.)

Permalink

2008-10-26

24/10/08

Permalink 11:56:48 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

A juvenile common rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) was seen by me today and later confirmed by Abdullah. I'm not sure how many previous records there are as Howard is still away. On our check list it is designated as "V" VAGRANT. Pictures and more at O&B with AJ.

Permalink

2008-10-05

A good day for Adrian - Indian Roller -

Permalink 08:28:25 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Today Adrian found an Indian Roller at Badaan Farm - this is the second record for Bahrain the first was way back in August 1996 when I found one at Dair north of the Airport that one stayed around until the December so hopefully this one should stay long enough for all to see.

Pictures by Adrian Drummond Hill - see O&B with AJ for further images

Indian Roller


Indian Roller

Indian Roller

Ortolan Buntings are also turning up in good numbers
Ortolan Bunting

Permalink

2008-09-13

A new species for Bahrain

Permalink 11:50:32, Categories: Observation by Howard  

It was one of those days when you don't expect anything to happen. A bit windy, but still rather hot and humid, our expectations were not high for the morning. AJ was already at Badaan Farm when I arrived at 6.30 parked up next to a flooded area where the irrigation system leaks into one small corner of the fields. It is a favourite corner of many species; since besides providing a handy drinking hole without having to descend into one of the drainage ditches, the fields of sorghum and millet have recently been cut. A lot of the crop remains as cut to dry out on the ground. The area also has some stands of grass around where the water accumulates with some barren furrows edged with the remaining taller stalks of millet, the perfect perch from which to hunt insects. It is a hot spot at the farm, heaven on earth if you are a sparrow, an exotic seed eater or a wagtail or just looking for a drink. Most species at the farm drop in on the area at some time during the day – particularly on Fridays when all other sprinklers and irrigation systems are off.

After exchanging our usual morning cryptic greeting an Ortolan Bunting was the first to put in a show. It didn’t stay long. So we both set out to tour the farm looking for anything new, not a lot was seen so I returned to the water hole first and found a distant Black-headed Bunting. AJ soon arrived but the Bunting disappeared in amongst the sparrows, (plague proportions of these) but with the Yellow Wagtails, a Stone Chat, several exotics, Pipits, Larks and Spanish Sparrows to entertain, he settled down to capture anything that came near the watering hole. I continued to tour the farm but had to pop out to get some petrol. When I returned AJ called me over and showed me some pictures he had just taken. I had thought it was going to be another escape but low and behold a Bunting stared out at me from the back of his camera what’s more it was a new species of Bunting one neither of us knew. Out came the book, Collins Field guide to Britain and Europe; we soon had it pegged as a House Bunting, as keeper of the list I knew it was a new record for Bahrain. I then had to clock it myself which I eventually did but the bird proved fairly elusive and rather timid when found in among the thousands of sparrows. I got good views of it from about 50m but it never came close enough for any further pictures. Satisfied ourselves however with the ID, we decided to put the pictures up on the Bird Forum for an independent confirmation. This was soon done and so we returned in the afternoon for another session but failed to locate the bird again although AJ was fairly certain he had glimpsed it the day before and it seemed likely it would stay around. Add to this the other good birds seen, it was a good day and the cold beer from my fridge after lunch to celebrate went down rather well. As did right at the end of the day the Caspian Plovers I spotted - a new species for Adrian who managed at a distance of 100m and in fast failing light to get a few pretty good pictures - It was hard enough to make out through the Bins.

The excepted name is now Mountain Bunting or Striolated Bunting not House for the species in the Middle East - Mountain Bunting Emberiza striolata
pictures by AJ See O&B with AJ for other images.
Mountain Bunting

Caspian Plover
Caspian Plover

AJ

Other species that I photographed today follow but UNLIKE THE ABOVE of the more photogenic species - missed were Golden Oriole and Great Reed Warbler.

Collared Pratincole
Collared Pratincole

Swallow
Swallow

Ruff
Ruff

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Stonechat a Female
Stonechat Female

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Permalink

2008-09-08

Friday - Harriers galor

Permalink 09:44:01 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

What a day five Harriers at the same time at Badaan including two female Montagu's only our forth record for this species the first since 1992 - AJ had another Marsh Harrier this afternoon - an Adult

First up a Male Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier

Next a 2cy male Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

A 2cy possibly 3cy male Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

The Montagu's Harrier's both female - first a badly lit flight picture note the second bird in the distance
Montagu's Harrier
My thanks to "skbirder" on the bird forum for ID pointers as follows
This bird - The underparts have streaking concentrated to upper breast. But the dark trailing edge to the primaries is rather sharply defined and together with regular primary barring - usually more irregular on Pallid - suggestive of Monty's/Hen
Montagu's Harrier
This was the same bird comments were
female (face pattern with lots of white around eye and cheek patch not reaching lores)conclusion - Female Montagu's
Montagu's Harrier

Montagu's female (face and underwing pattern)
Montagu's Harrier

Permalink

2008-09-01

Getting interesting

Permalink 09:41:55 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Badaan Farm

Collared Pratincole
Collared Pratincole

Terek Sandpiper
Terrick Sandpiper

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

White Western Reef Heron
White Western Reef Heron

Dark Western Reef Heron
White Western Reef Heron

An intermediate
White Western Reef Heron

Indian Silverbills
Indian Silverbills

Permalink

2008-08-30

Busy times

Permalink 11:04:05 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Things are happening fast with more great birds some arriving much earlier than usual. In the last week we have seen Golden Oriels, Collared Pratincoles, Great and Clamorous Reed Warblers, Yellow Wagtails, Black-headed and Ortolan Buntings. A few small warblers were noted but not identified, no shrikes this week but Isabelline Wheatears continue to show. Swallows and Sand Martins continue to pass but no Red-rumped or House Martins this week to report. Cattle Egrets and Purple Heron numbers are up again, the Egrets no doubt will winter.

Larks however seem short in supply other than our resident Crested no other species has been noted out on the grass.

On the shore little change in species arriving just more of the same from the weeks before.

Permalink

2008-08-19

Road Hog

Permalink 11:01:15 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Wait - can't you see I'm going as fast as I can

Helmetted Guinea Fowl
Helmeted Guinea Fowl Numida meleagris

2008-08-17

Hot weather but good birds

Permalink 06:53:37 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The migration is in full swing now - the Swallows on the wires have now been joined by European Bee-eaters, Sand Martins, and the odd Red-rumped Swallow which are putting in a very early appearance. Noted recently earlier than normal were a Masked Shrike and a couple of Pale Rock sparrows with even some Great Reed Warblers joining the Clamorous that have been around for the last week. Otherwise the gardens are still quiet but Purple Herons, Hoopoe, Egyptian Nightjar Golden Oriel and Isaballine Wheatear are beginning to be seen regularly. The shorelines on the other hand are filling with waders Terns and Gulls as expected at this time of the year - most numerous at the moment are the Curlew Sandpipers and the Lesser Sand Plovers.

Turnstones

Turnstones

Little Egret

Little Egret

House Crows - anybody got a gun

House Crows

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

Western Reef Heron

The most common waders on the shore - The Lesser Sand Plover and the Curlew Sandpiper
Waders

Note the Broad-billed Sandpiper on the far right
Waders

Waders

Waders

Red and Greenshanks
Red and Greenshanks

3 Saunder's Tern nearest and a Little Tern standing in the water
Saunder's Tern

Little Stint
Little Stint

Lesser Sandplover
Lesser Sandplover

Lesser Sandplover

Lesser Sandplover

Lesser Sandplover

Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Bee-eaters
Bee-eaters

Purple Heron
Purple Heron

Isabelline Wheatear

Permalink

2008-08-14

Bahrain Twitch

Permalink 04:53:50 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Yesterday the weather turned foul yet again - strong winds and dust reduced visibility but trapped the heat so we decided not to go ringing at Badaan but check various sites for migrants. Brendan headed off to the south, Abdulla went east to the shore and I went north to Maharraq -

I was the lucky one as I found a Crab Plover at Busaiteen the first here for several years - a quick call to Brendan and Abdulla brought them running Brendan made it to get a "Lifer" after around 40 mins Abdulla sadly had to divert.

Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Waders are now arriving in large numbers Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, Curlew, Bar-tailed, Godwit, Redshank, Lesser and Greater Sandplover, so with large numbers of Terns and small gulls shorelines are filling rapidly

Permalink

2008-08-12

11th August 2008

Permalink 04:05:29 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Back from a short break Brendan Abdulla and myself spent time last Friday and this afternoon ringing birds at Badaan Farm - some of the more interesting species seen were, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Egyptian Nightjar, Clamorous Reed Warbler and Collared Praticoles. Heard but not seen were Bee-eaters

Permalink

2008-07-15

another unexpected visitor

Permalink 09:08:38 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Yesterday the 14th of July Brendan and I visited one of Bahrain's huge development projects in the south of the country looking for birds - any birds - only a few pigeons doves and sparrows were seen other than a few White-cheeked terns a Reef Heron and a Socotra Cormorant plus this Hobby a most unusual July record which made the trip worth while - sadly it was seen at dusk and the light was fading fast.


Hobby

Hobby

Some of the dozen or so White-cheeked Terns seen around the site - considering the numbers than we normally see in coastal areas not many by any standard in fact disappointing.

White-cheeked Terns

Permalink

2008-07-14

Confirmation of breeding

Permalink 10:53:05 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

A family group of Cattle Egrets - two adults plus Juv were seen at Badaan Farm 11th July 2008 - following on from a previous breeding record in Al Areen last year this is the second breeding record

A distant record image was obtain - AJ got a much closer shot of the youngster see his page for that

Cattle Egret

Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

we have now ringed 14 Spanish Sparrows including (see under ringing) numerous juvenile birds -
Considering it is barely a year since we saw our second country record for this species - it is remarkable how quickly they have carved out a niche and obtained a substantial breeding population.

Permalink

2008-07-04

Hazy but at least the sand has gone

Permalink 02:43:28 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

A quiet morning at Badaan Farm produced some interesting birds on this Yankee Doodle day - seen besides the usual residents WERE - On arrival at 06.00hrs (early starts are essential these days) 3 Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters on the wires - they didn't stay long but I did managed to get a record shot from a distance of one.


Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

a small flock of 28 swallows including some juveniles
Juv Swallow

and a single ssp fledegg Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Besides this we saw Namaqua Doves, some silverbills, a Single Curlew, Kentish Plover including some chicks, dozens of Rufous Bushchats, Olivaceous and Prinia Warblers, Palm and Collared Doves, House and Spanish Sparrows, Common Mynas, Indian House Crows, a few Cattle Egrets and Reef Herons, White Cheeked Terns, Crested Larks, White-cheeked Bulbuls, Grey Francolin and one of our regular escapee's - a Red Bishop

A Bushchat growing its tail back
Rufous Bush Chat

Collared Dove
Collared Dove

Red Bishop
Red Bishop

Indian Silver Bill
Indian Silver Bill

Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Blue Cheeked Bee-eater
Blue Cheeked Bee-eater

To check the latest photos & news from Bahrain follow link above click on tab Bahrain Obs


Slender-billed Gull

Slender-billed Gull

Purple Heron
purple heron

Squacco Heron

squacco heron

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Yellow wagtail
Yellow wagtail

Indian Mongoose - will steal a bird out of your hand if you offer it

Permalink

2008-07-02

And yet another dust storm

Permalink 03:12:18 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

We are becoming a little frustrated at the weather here this year - not the heat we have learned to live with that - its the dust storms. One after the other there seems no end to them this year. Yesterday and again today visibility has been reduced to next to nothing by dust haze - my car the morning had more than a fine dust covering; had I had a bucket and spade I could have made a reasonably sized sandcastle. Maybe by this weekend I will have some decent images and some good observations to report currently I can't see the shore let alone any birds on it.

Permalink

2008-06-28

Visit to Jarim

Permalink 09:37:26 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Friday we did some ringing on Jarim - see under projects for additional photos

Socotra Cormorants
At this time of the year they can be found everywhere - at the yacht club as we left

Socotra Cormorants

On the Islands as we arrived
Socotra Cormorants

those with white brests are 1 c/y birds - from this winter

Bridled Tern
Bridled Tern

Bridled Tern

Juv Western Reef Hereon
Juv Western Reef Hereon

Nesting White-Cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern

Permalink

2008-06-15

work bad weather and few birds to report

Permalink 10:11:15 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Have been too busy at work these last few weeks to post any reports - but things are improving except the weather which continues with high winds and dust storms - Hope to have some new images later this week
High winds 'will ease by the weekend'

FROM THE PAGES OF THE Gulf Daily News

MANAMA: High winds, which have sandblasted Bahrain for 10 days, are expected to ease by the weekend, weathermen said yesterday. By MANDEEP SINGH

Winds of up to 27 knots lashed Bahrain yesterday but are expected to fall to around 23 knots today and 17 knots tomorrow, says the Civil Aviation Affairs Metrology Directorate.

"The weather is expected to be fine by Friday when we also expect to see an increase in the day temperatures," said the weathermen.

Extremely bad visibility was reported throughout the day yesterday, falling at times to less than 1,000 metres at Bahrain International Airport.

A bad weather warning also remained in place as the weatherman forecast strong to near gale force winds and rough seas well into today.

"Poor visibility and rising sand in places will make it even more uncomfortable," said the weathermen.

They said the bad weather was the result of "disturbance" due to a low-pressure area, which had developed over parts of Saudi Arabia.

"This is causing the weather to be erratic throughout the region," they said.

Permalink

2008-05-16

Migration nearly over

Permalink 06:31:40 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The number of birds and species passing at Badaan Farm has slowed to a crawl - a few surprises in what's been turning up but nothing really exceptional. Collared Pratincoles, Yellow Wagtails, Winchats, Ortolan Buntings, Willow and Reed Warblers and the odd Red-throated Pipit and Nightingale all put in a show. The only Shrike seen today was an Isabelline who kept company with a few swallows and Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters. Gone are the Kestrels but hanging on are a Great White Egret, Little Egret and a Purple Heron keeping company with the Night and Western Reef Herons. Also seen today a Little Bittern will be interesting to see how long he stays. Western Reef, Little Bittern and Night Herons all breed locally. Kentish Plover chicks can been seen everywhere along with Grey Francolins, while Olivaceous Warblers and Rufous Bush Robins (chats) are busy nesting. White Cheeked Bulbuls and Graceful Prinia are well advanced while Crested Larks have already produced a first brood. A larger than usual number of Cattle Egrets have stayed on and could well breed again this year.

Pictures of some of the species ringed today can be found under Projects see tab at the top or right of the page.

Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Permalink

2008-05-09

strange week

Permalink 12:24:39 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Just an update on whats been happening Here-

May 1st - A Stonecurlew with 2 chicks was observed between Al Jazair beach and the horse endurance center. This represents a first breeding record for this species if confirmed. Observer a Falconer caught and examined one of the chicks before returning it to waiting parent.

May 7th - A Corncrake was reported at Anwaj Islands - this observation has some quality as the observer not a birder is familiar with the species in Ireland - last record 1991

May 8th - Willow Warblers have now turned up - we ringed the last one of last year on the 24 of April - we ringed our first one this year only today. Swallows and SandMartins passing in large numbers today as are Willow Reed and Great Reed Warblers.

May 6th - A pair of Grey Hypocolius were on sale at Isa Town Market - before the birds could be recovered the seller had disappeared. Isa Town is the other side of the Island to the known roosts this might indicate an unknown roosting areas for the species.

Permalink

2008-05-06

a short afternoon

Permalink 09:43:40 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

We did some ringing this afternoon so this meant that time for actual birding was minimal however of the birds around, the ones of note were the Blue-cheeked and European Bea-eaters Swallows and Swifts that continue to pass through. The Purple Heron all four remain, the Yellow Wagtails and Ortolan Buntings a stream that never seems to end and the dozens of warblers of various species now found throughout the farm. Another Scops owl was seen along with numerous Nightingales and Pratincoles. The lesser Kestrels seem to have made the farm their home five sometimes six are now regulars hunting over the crop circles. Kentish Plover Chicks are popping out all over the place and Graceful Prinia, Grey Francolin, Bulbuls, Sparrows, Doves, Rufous Bush Chats and Olivaceous Warblers are all in various stages of breeding as well.


Blue Cheeked Bee-eater
Blue cheeked bee-eater

Purple Heron
Purple Heron

Permalink

2008-05-04

Saturday - dull but an improvement on yesterday

Permalink 03:12:50 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Overcast and windy but still with a heavy haze from the dust - lingering on.

Spent some time down on Tubli Bay in the morning to see what was around - still plenty of waders but tern numbers collecting prior to breeding are increasing daily - Lesser Crested, Saunder's, White-cheeked and the odd Gull-billed - these together with good numbers of Caspian Terns (winter breeding) and Slender-billed Gulls now out number wading species. A few hundred Flamingos for which we have no breeding records remain complemented by large numbers of Western Reef Herons - many no doubt themselves breeding around the bay or due to depart to Hawar and the main breeding areas there.

Lesser-crested Tern

Lesser-crested Tern

Lesser-crested Tern

Lesser-crested Tern

Lesser-crested Tern

Lesser-crested Tern

Lesser-crested Tern

White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

Slender-billed Gull
Slender-bill

Slender-bill

Gull-billed Tern
Gull-billed Tern

Flamingo
Flamingo

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

Later in the day I went to Badaan Farm - the light was again poor - Kevin came later but didn't stay long as a consequence. A good number of larger warblers were observed including Great Reed, Barred and Garden. Olivaceous continue to sing out from most of the denser corners a declaration of breeding territory, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow and Reed plus a few unidentified as usual made an impressive list. The breeding Rufous Bush Robins (chats)and Kentish Plover are encountered now regularly around the farm - Pratincoles, Nightingales, Orioles, as are still a few Red-throated and Tawny Pipits with Ortolan Buntings. A few waders add further interest, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Curlews, Little Stint and Turnstones most moving into breeding plumage. Purple, Great White, Night and Grey Heron along with some Reef Herons and the odd Kingfisher are now benefiting from the recently cut drainage ditches which are alive with fish. On the wires Swallows, a roller, a variety of Shrikes plenty of Lesser Kestrels with a few Bee-eaters all add to the interest, this is of course without the farms resident birds.

Yellow Wagtail - a few more on the fields today but nothing like the number we have had the last few weeks. Not certain of this one think its a female either flava or beema

Yellow Wagtail

Bee-eaters
Bee-eaters

Collared Pratincole
Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Crested Lark
Crested Lark

Curlew
Curlew

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Kentish Plover - a local breeding species
Kentish Plover

Kentish chick - the first observed this year - much later than last.
Kentish chick

Lesser Kestrel
Lesser Kestrel

Red-backed Shrike - A 1st winter/juvenile bird
Redbacked Shrike

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Swallow
Swallow

Swallow

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Willow Warbler Seen just as the sun was nearly set
Willow Warbler

Permalink

2008-05-01

More sand but hot and muggy

Permalink 05:30:47 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Horrible weather yet again no wind but sand drifting down covering everything with a fine powder including the camera which I now have to get cleaned. Not a single Yellow wagtail remains but four Lesser Kestrel are still hunting the fields. Lesser, Masked, Isabelline Red-backed and Grey Shrike are now faily common. Spotted Flycatchers the odd Wheatear Roller and Bee-eater along with a variety of Warblers continue to be seen along with both Thrush Nightingale and Nightingales. A few Ortolans and a solitary Red-throated Pipit were also seen as four Purple Herons and a Great White Egret patrolled the ditches.

Purple Heron
purple heron

Great White Egret
Great White Egret

Permalink

2008-04-25

Permalink 09:27:04 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The weather has become suddenly hot and so has the migration through our neck of the woods. A busy week watching to see whats passing some things are still hard to find like Warblers but otherwise numbers are good for some species. Ortalan Bunting, Wheatears, Shrikes, Pratincoles, Nightingale, White-throated Robins, Red-Pipits Throated Pipits, Rollers Lesser Kestrel Bee-eaters, Swallows, are more numerous this year than in previous. Out numbering all must be the Yellow Wagtails they are everywhere you look and withy a good variety of ssp

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Spotted Flycatcher - always plenty of these fellows around
Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Collared Pratincole

Eight surround a splash pool from the irrigation system - IN TOTAL 11 were seen today
Flock

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Ortolan Bunting
Ortolan Bunting

Ortolan Bunting

Palm Dove -it was there - a common local breeding species
Palm Dove

Red-backed Shrike - too far away really and in the wrong place to the sun
Red-backed Shrike

The rear end of a Roller
Roller

Permalink

2008-04-18

horrible day

Permalink 08:37:28 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Have been in the UK for a few weeks - after I had return my house was burgled - the bast---ds stole my laptop some camera kit my satellite decorder plus a host of other things but the worst was the fact that they stripped the house of its copper water pipe leaving me with a flood. To make matters worse today the first day that I could get out since returning yet another dust storm blew up cutting vis down to around 500 mts. Anyhow birds continue to pass -these last few weeks its been Buntings Ortolan and Cinereous, Martins, Swallows, Pale Rock Sparrows, and Beeeaters all in large numbers and a whole host of other goodies like Lesser Kestrel, Cuckoos, Scops Owls, Pratincoles,Hoopoe, and Rollers. Besides a flurry of Wheatears and Warblers plus the return of the locally breeding Olivaceous - singing their heads off.
Not a good day the light was yuck for photography as you can see from these two images below


roller

lesser kestrel

Permalink

2008-03-30

an odd weekend

Permalink 09:05:15 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Friday was dull and gloomy with a thick dust haze while Saturday bright and sunny - Still slow in terms of species and numbers turning up, the weekend was notable not for the first collared Pratincole more Yellow Wagtails, Pied Wheatears or Woodchat Shrikes but for an end of day spectacle put on over head by over three hundred House Martins three Swifts and a few swallows. Impossible to photograph, we had set up a net in a vain hope of catching some based on a tape lure - the flock whirled around the lure for half an hour before dusk. It was a low level stunning example of aerial ballet not a single bird caught and to our amazement as the flock came together in a tight knot on sunset, if by magic they were gone; heading north as if on a silent command. It was an evening to remember doubly so as Wales won the Grand slam by beating our Gaelic cousins the French. Sadly for Brendan the Irish lost to the perennial enemy the English.

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Collared Pratincole
Collared Pratincole

Permalink

2008-03-07

Good day a lot of things on the move

Permalink 07:57:53 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

A good number of warblers were seen today Reed, Grasshopper and Chiffchaff plus Yellow wagtails Tawny Pipits and a variety of Wheatears all seen at various locations, Woodchat shrikes and Hoopoe continue to pass through.


Yellow Wagtail - Feldegg
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Isabelline Wheatear

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Permalink

2008-03-06

Observations from Saeed Abdulla Al Khuzai

Permalink 03:22:52 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

27 February 2008
Mallards 9 (1 male, 8 Females) Tubli near sewage outfall.
Woodchat shrike 1 sakhir near oil museum
Desert wheatear 2 males near Jabal
Isabelline shrike 3 adults near Janusan
Great Black headed Gull 5 Janusan coast

6 March 2008
Bluethroat 1 male Adhari Area

18 February (Hawar island)
Still thousands of socotra cormorant present, not counted.

Saeed Abdulla Al Khuzai

Permalink

2008-03-05

After yesterdays sandstorm things are better today

Permalink 11:02:52 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Abdulla just rang me to let me know that he had just seen good numbers of Northern and Pied Wheatear near Dur Jetty and that 10 Stone Curlew had been observed near Zallaq behind the filling station yesterday.

Permalink

2008-03-03

Migration news

Permalink 06:30:51 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Hoopoe, Yellow Wagtails, Red-rumped and Barn Swallow, House Martins, Pied and Isabelline Wheatear, Woodchat Shrike and Rock Thrush were the most noticable species on the move this last week.

Permalink

2008-02-26

Better weather and things beginning to move

Permalink 06:25:20 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Wagtails Pipits larks Shrikes are beginning to appear but for colour these two take some beating
Rock Thrush
Rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush
Bkue Rock Thrush

Permalink

2008-02-24

A week of sandstorms

Permalink 06:38:21 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The bad weather continued all week with visibility at times less than a few hundred yards the only bird of merit was a single Black Kite over Manama - but yesterday we did have an influx at Badaan of Isabelline Wheatears, Yellow Wagtails,and Spannish Sparrows the status of which remains a mystery - migrant or resident breeder? but we netted 4 (see Projects)Hoopoe and a Chiffchaff were also seen. Song Thrush, Bluethroat, Pacific Golden Plover numerous pipits and Skylarks remain on the fields. No photos waiting on the return of my lense - for sand removal.

Permalink

2008-02-15

A breezy but bright day

Permalink 02:38:50 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Early morning produced some interesting observations of Swallows preening in the early morning light. A little nervous the slightest movement was enough to put them to flight - annoyed yesterday my good lens ceased up I could have had some really nice shots but still these will have to do


Swallows
Swallows

Red-rumped Swallows
Red-rumped Swallows

Red-rumped Swallows

Permalink

2008-02-09

The first day of spring

Permalink 03:39:31 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

A lovely sunny day but oddly not too much around bird wise - plenty of the regulars but the only new birds of note were a Corn Bunting and a Great Reed Warbler.


Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Turnstone
Turnstone

Permalink

2008-02-08

a good day out

Permalink 09:27:26 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The weather has improved a lot - although its still a little cold at night. The number of birds coming through has increased and is beginning to be noticeable. The number of Shrikes & Wheatears in particular has increased dramatically however still no migrant warbers to write home about.

Stonechat
Siberian Stonechat

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

The unmistakable Graceful Prinia
Graceful Prinia

Broad-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Red-tailed Wheatear
Red-tailed Wheatear

Night Heron - Juvenile
Night Heron -Juvenile

Permalink

2008-02-07

Weather begins to improve

Permalink 06:02:22 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The weather which has been cold dull and windy almost continuously since the christmas break has started to improve in the last few days. However the only photographic opportunity that came my way last tuesday afternoon was with this songthrush, skulking in the shadows we did manage to net and ring it later in the afternoon.

Song Thrush
Song Thrush

Permalink

Eastern Province

Permalink 05:52:18 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Adrian over in Saudi observed a couple of spoonbills in the coastal lagoons close to Al Khobar on Tuesday. Nice birds to record in that they have become a great rarity around this part of the gulf over the last few years. Here in Bahrain their status has been reduced to that of a vagrant in that we have not had any observations in this centuary.

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

Khobar lagoons

Permalink

2008-02-02

Dirty old day

Permalink 05:28:23 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

6-45 this morning - not the best start to the day


Manama

Snipe - a winter visitor in good numbers around any water hole or in any ditch
Snipe

Snipe

Water Pipit - very commoon winter visitor
Water Pipit

Black-winged Stilts - a resident breeder
Black-winged Stilts

Black-winged Stilts

Marsh Sand Piper - a regular winter visitor
Marsh Sand Piper

Marsh Sand Piper

Permalink

2008-02-01

The weather has turned nasty again

Permalink 08:11:07 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Just when we were expecting to see lots of new arrivals the weather has contrived to dampen our expectation. Today we are faced with a strong shammal, a northerly wind that blows for 3 to 4 days currently in excess of 25 knots. Dust haze and overcast skys means that good obs are going to few and far between this weekend. So here are a few more of our regulars that have been around this winter.


Cattle Egret - now a very common wintering migrant
Cattle Egret

Desert Wheatear - the most commonly seen wintering wheatear.
Desert Wheatear

Little Stint and Kentish Plover - the later a common breeding species for both numbers supplemented by migrants in season
Little Stint and Kentish Plover

Temminck's Stint - frequents ditches and brackish water - a wintering migrant
Temminck's Stint

Little Stint and Temminck's Stint
Little Stint and Temminck's Stint

Little Stint and Temminck's Stint

Wood Sandpiper fequents brackish water and ditches not common but records in all months
Wood Sandpiper

Flamingo - hugh numbers winter around Bahrain but are availiable throughout the year
Flamingo

Greater Sand Plover regular throughout the year with large influxes during peek migrations time spring and autumn
Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greenshank - a regular seen throughout the year but more common in winter
Greenshank

Grey Francolin - introduced in the 80's has spread throughout Arabia.
Grey Francolin

Western Reef Heron - white morph in breeding plumage
Western Reef Heron

Permalink

2008-01-19

The return is not far away

Permalink 12:09:58 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Having spent the last few weeks watching the same species birding here. It is beginning to hot up aaround the Farm at Badaan as the spring passage starts to make itself felt. Some of the first species to be noted are Hoopoe and Chiffchaff - to start with in one’s or two’s but soon they will become as common as the wintering species we have become accustomed to lately.


White Wagtail - a very common wintering species
White Wagtail

Western Reef Heron - dark morph - a resident breeding species
Western Reef Heron

Purple Heron - a wintering individual - recorded throughout the year most often during autumn passage
Purple Heron

Great White Egret - an irregular migrant most often seen in winter
Great White Egret

Curlew Sandpiper - always a few around with large numbers occurring on passage autumn and spring
Curlew Sandpiper

Dunlin - one of the most common wintering species seen on the shore.
Dunlin

Greenshank - easily found throughout the year, numbers peak in winter
Greenshank

Grey Plover - always a few around throughout the year, larger numbers in winter
Grey Plover

Lesser Sand Plover - availiable throughout the year with largest influx on passage in September with another smaller influx again in spring in April and May
Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Little Stint - a very common wintering species often totally absent in July
Little Stint

Ringed Plover - Common wintering species often totally absent from mid May through to early August.
Ringed Plover

Terek Sandpiper - a regular throughout the year with a distict peak in numbers during the spring passage.
Terek Sandpiper

Gull-billed tern - A common species throughout the year with large numbers present in winter
Gull-billed tern

Pacific Golden Plover - a regular migrant and wintering species in small numbers
Pacific Golden Plover

Pacific Golden Plover

Kestrel - recorded most months throughout the year but often absent during summer months has breed locally in the past.
Kestrel

Pallid Swift - Spring breeding migrant but occurance pattern can seem irregular as it is often absent or not observed some months
Pallid Swift

Chiffchaff - one of the first spring migrant seen but a few do overwinter.
Chiffchaff

Permalink

2008-01-17

An interesting Afternoon

Permalink 11:58:42 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

On my way to Jasra after work I stopped to check out the Experimental Farm at Hamalah. Not many birds around in general but on my way out I stopped at one of the many water holes and noticed a White-tailed Plover across the other side some 50 meters away. It soon realised it was being watched and scurried off into the long grass, I waited for ten miniuts or so and fortunately the bird appeared again although distant it was in good light giving me a chance to take some record shots.
White-tailed Plover
White-tailed Plover

White-tailed Plover

White-tailed Plover

These were the only other species around worthy of a photograph
Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Stonechat
Stonechat

Permalink

2008-01-15

A brief field trip to Jasra

Permalink 03:25:18 pm, Categories: Observation by Howard  

I had a few hours to spare today so I went to Jasra to check on the Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius
Grey Hypocolius

While I was watching them I managed to grab a few pictures of the other species enjoying the respite from the cold, wind and rain.

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

House Crow
House Crow

Mynah
Mynah

Red-vented Bulbul
Red-vented Bulbul

Red-vented Bulbul

White-cheeked Bulbul

Cattle Egret

Sparrows
Sparrows

A mixed bag note the Female Hypocolius in the background
Mixed bag

Permalink

2008-01-13

Cold wet and windy

Permalink 12:10:15 am, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Despite the cold weather both newly arriving migrants and wintering birds continue to be plentiful around the Island. The largests display of hawking Pallid Swifts I have seen in a January were daily present over Badaan Farm numbers exceeded several hundred birds these were mixed in with Red-rumped and Barn Swallow together with House Martins, swirling flocks of Skylarks, White wagtails and numerous Water and Red-throated Pipits to make in the dull haze of a drab rain soaked and windy weekend a spectacular display. Best watched as the light was hardly suited to good photography however a few record shots were snapped just to add some interest to this post.


Sky Lark Alauda arvensis
Skylark
Graceful Pinia Prinia gracilis
Graceful Pinia

Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
Red-rumped Swallow

Pallid Swift Apus pallidus
Pallid Swift

Permalink

You can now find me on twitter

Welcome To Hawar-Islands.Com

Home of the
Bahrain Bird Report
On line since 1994

Follow the links above and below to visit your area of interest.
There are many images on this website - most are bigger than normal but are however subject to the same copyright as on any other site. For educational use please contact us first via twitter For commercial use high resolution uncropped versions of these images and others not included here are available please see contacts on the various pages.

Site Navigation

Posts on this page

Bahrain Observations
Wildlife
Hypocolius Update
World Birds
Problems with ID


Misc

older HTML Pages
Bahrain Bird Report
Ringing Projects
Seasonal Tables
Articles and News (Old)
Check Lists
Banding Project Details
Hawar Indicator Species
Falconry in Bahrain Photos
Photo Albums (Old)
Hawar Islands
Visiting Bahrain
Socotra Cormorants Articles
Dugong around Hawar
The Map Room
Large Gulls of M.E.(Old)
Eco Links
Kuwait Birding
O&B with AJ
Birding with Brendan



top fifty
free counters

view this weblog as RSS !
Valid XHTML 1.0!
Valid RSS!
>