Archives for: November 2008


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

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

The number of Lapwing around Badaan has grown to six

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

Flamingoes at Ras Tubli
Flamingoes at Ras Tubli

Black-winged Stilt caught at sunset
Black-winged stilt



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



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 Stonechat

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.

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

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



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.)


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