Spent Friday and Saturday looking for terns in odd places end up with very few and only a few Kentish plovers
Nest with eggs
This last weekend saw the mercury rise to the mid forties which with the increase in humidity made for a sweaty weekend. Needless to say most migrants have now passed so I spent my time seeing what was left mostly on the shore.
Some non-breeding waders Curlew, Grey and Ringed Plover a Northern Cormrant and an Oyster Catcher plus a few Grey Herons and a small number of Slender-billed Gulls remain on the shore amongst our summer breeding terns and Reef Herons. In the gardens very little now around a few Bushchats and Olivaceous warblers supplement our resident birds along with the last of the Flycatchers.
Breeding Birds are always worth finding Black-winged Stilt chicks are beginning to show as are the first Reef Heron chicks around the Mangroves of Tubli bay. The Kentish seem to have finished although some might second brood otherwise its birds building nests or tending young.
Western Reef Heron
Kentish Plover - a really washed out and odd looking bird
Namaqua Dove - a juvenile bird indicating continued successful breeding
Large Gull species unknown
Slender-billed Gulls with Caspian Terns
Night herons returning from a nights hunting
Every day at the moment I see hundreds of Pallid Swifts zapping by my office window I am on the 21st floor and the glass is tinted so getting a good picture is nigh on impossible but here are a few just to show you what it is like
Friday 15th May Spent the morning out with Adrian, we had intended o visit a few places but never got much beyond the Chicken Farm in Hamalah spending most of the time at the waste water pond behind the processing factory. The variety of birds on view was surprising but the challenge of the day was to see who could get the best photo of the White-winged Black Tern hawking the area.
White-winged Black Tern
At the other end of the site at the experimental farm a few birds were seen nothing like the numbers of last month mind, just a few late migrants and some local residents
Spotted Fly-catcher caught luckily moments after take off
Red-backed Shrike a rather distant shot of what could be the seasons last for this species.
Rufous Bushchat a problem with this area is that the sprinklers are well scattered and a fair distance from any road making close photography an impossibility
A resident breeding species around the pond but so vocal and aggressive to all other species particularly the tern they were constantly disturbing the calm of the morning with aggressive aerial displays.
Back at the pond Green Shank and Wood Sandpiper.
Turnstones and our black and white friend
Turnstones forcing a way in between a Ruff and a Wood Sandpiper
Saunders's Tern - a single pair note the square cut white forehead and no dart at the lower corners behind the eye. Adrian managed some good shots of the Little Terns see O&B with AJ for that
Other species seen at the pond were Little and Temminck's Stints, Green Sandpiper, Dunlin, Kentish Plovers, breeding Moorhen and Cattle Egrets, Black-headed Gulls, White-cheeked Tern, Redshank, Namaqua, Palm, and Collared Doves, Crested Larks and a million Sparrows.
Spotted Flycatchers were everywhere today but one of the last migrants to pass in big numbers in the spring - summer is but a few weeks away.
But the bird of the morning has to be this Rufous morph female Cuckoo
Kentish Plover - the bright breeding plumage of the spring and breeding is beginning to fade.
Whinchat wearing a bracelet obviously its been through Brendan's hands
A couple of the more mundane and common species here
The Shamal that kicked in on Friday afternoon with winds gusting over 25knots acted as a giant stopper for birds moving north. I went ringing with Brendan on Saturday mourning and we were amazed at the number of birds that had dropped down into our ringing site south of Al Jazair beach. Willow, Barred, Upchers & Reed Warblers, Whitethroat, Blackcaps, Redstarts, and Nightingales were crammed into the small area. Overhead Swallows House Martins and Bee-eaters continue however to pass as did larger birds like Rollers. The wind dropped considerably on Saturday night allowing birds to move on but come Sunday morning it had picked up again with Sunday a a public Holiday here we returned to pickup were we had left off. The early morning drive down proved very interesting as I counted in the last 4kms along the western shore road 17 Red-backed, 9 Lesser Grey and 3 Woodchat Shrikes plus 3 Rock Thrush Whinchats, Ortolan and Red-throated Buntings and a few yellow Wagtails plus a heap of warblers skitting between the desert vegetation. New birds now occupied the ringing site as we had no re-traps from the day before, it proved to be just as fruitful as the previous day.
Begging to be snapped this Rock Thrush one of the 3 at Al Jazair was amazing
hard to get close to the Shrikes proved unusually difficult to photograph
Lesser and Red-backed Shrikes
I met Adrian at the Chicken Farm at Hamalah in the afternoon he was parked up by the pond - on my way to join him I spotted this Caspian Plover in a small hollow - Adrian managed some better frontal shots after he moved to join me see O&About with AJ for those.
Before that I had been stuck in the sand at Buri - I had reversed up onto a small mound and got crested no wheels on the ground fortunately Brendan was on hand to pull me out - I had been reversing to get this picture of a Spotted Flycatcher
I had spent most of the morning on the Maharraq shoreline - interesti ng for what was not seen rather than what I found - I didn't see a single Broad-billed Sandpiper Godwit Curlew Whimbrel or little Stint plus only one Western Reef Heron - The Herons are all on the breeding grounds elsewhere in Bahrain.
I did find a few small flocks of waders these are mainly Curlew Sandpiper with a few Dunlin mixed in.
the only other substantial flock I found was this mixed flock of Sand Plovers
Greater and Lesser Sand Plovers
Tentative ID - Greater Sandplover
Lesser Crested Terns with White-cheeked in foreground
Western Reef Heron
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