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.
Western Reef Heron - dark morph - a resident breeding species
Purple Heron - a wintering individual - recorded throughout the year most often during autumn passage
Great White Egret - an irregular migrant most often seen in winter
Curlew Sandpiper - always a few around with large numbers occurring on passage autumn and spring
Dunlin - one of the most common wintering species seen on the shore.
Greenshank - easily found throughout the year, numbers peak in winter
Grey Plover - always a few around throughout the year, larger numbers in winter
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
Little Stint - a very common wintering species often totally absent in July
Ringed Plover - Common wintering species often totally absent from mid May through to early August.
Terek Sandpiper - a regular throughout the year with a distict peak in numbers during the spring passage.
Gull-billed tern - A common species throughout the year with large numbers present in winter
Pacific Golden Plover - a regular migrant and wintering species in small numbers
Kestrel - recorded most months throughout the year but often absent during summer months has breed locally in the past.
Pallid Swift - Spring breeding migrant but occurance pattern can seem irregular as it is often absent or not observed some months
Chiffchaff - one of the first spring migrant seen but a few do overwinter.
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.
These were the only other species around worthy of a photograph
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.
A mixed bag note the Female Hypocolius in the background
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.
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
Pallid Swift Apus pallidus
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