What a day today - two Sociable Plovers with one being trapped and ringed at Hamalah experimental Farm plus Short-eared Owl the Reed Buntings and more Red Avadavats seen besides the usual stuff.
Sociable Plover. For more information on the Birdlife International Project go to http://www.amazing-journey.org/
more pictures http://www.hawar-islands.com/blog/gen_stub.php of ringed bird
Water Pipit numbers are beginning to build
Stonechat lots of both male and female birds are easily found
Skylark flocks of hundred populate most agricultural areas
Song Thrush are taking up their winter quaters
Marsh Harrier taking a shower in the irrigation sprinklers
Greenshank most seen in the ditches these days
Broad-billed Sandpiper not as common as Dunlin and Little stint but still numerous on the shore
A birding dilemma - just how much birding can you do in six days - well today proved that it still is not enough as we managed to find a real rarity - a Reed Bunting our 5th record with the last 21 year ago in November 1989.
First thing this morning which started bright and misty I joined Brendan who has currently two young Ladies in tow as trainee ringers at Hamalah Experimental Farm. It proved a good option with not only the Reed Bunting, which was one of three seen, 11 species in twenty birds caught including a Red Avadavat and finishing with a Quail. Worst bird of the morning was the Grey Shrike which managed to sample a few bits of my fingers while I extracted him from the nets, he seemed to like the taste as he finally managed to draw blood.
Images in no particular order from the last few days but I will start with the Bunting.
Wheatear one still unconfirmed its either Black-eared or Pied
Mourning Wheatear never in the right place for the sun
Black-winged Stilt a young bird
It was a while since I was at the race course lake so I decided to pop down there this afternoon. Below are two poor shots of a yellow-billed Stork that was in the desert on the far side of the lake. If its still there tomorrow we might have a better chance to photograph it. Howard recons its probably an escape from Al Areen wildlife park but the bird here is unringed.
The bird was very shy and flushed when I got to within 300 meters
The bird landed in the desert behind the lake.
The wind kept up throughout the weekend and after the weeks rains many areas were a bit sticky for driving - avoided the shore this week concentrating on ditches and fields then on Saturday chasing a few birds with the nets.
Little Bittern from Adhari ditches in the early morning light
Redstart a disappointing view as it disappeared
Mourning Wheatear - carrying a ring the origin of this will be resolved this winter
Coot - only a record shot was possible
Took visiting birder Keith Rainford out today - despite the windy conditions we did manage to get a good number of lifers for him, well over twenty I think but he is still counting. I did fail to find a few of our more common species like Desert lark but there is always next time however for those we did get he had multiple and very close views of most.
Steppe Grey Shrike a young bird
Lovely but distant adult
Ruff - female Reeve
Another but a difficult bird to assign to species
The temperature was hotter than the birds this weekend - in fact is was disappointingly quiet. However I covered a lot of ground and got a reasonable feel for what was about. For birds seen this October see here
From Hamalah this weekend -
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater - no European B/E's seen this weekend
Isabelline Wheatear looking very much like something else
White Wagtail - looking like a waitress dressed with a bib
Ringed Wader - a question mark on this one
From the shore and coastal areas
Caspian Tern some of the hundreds that had gathered on the high tide on the reclaimed land at the north end of Tubli
Dunlin with a Broad-billed Sandpiper on the left
Just a few at the high tide roost at Tubli
Keeping apart from the hords mixed flocks of Sand Plovers were scattered across the area
A Kentish Plover stands out in the masses -
Over at Hidd on the rising tide
Western Reef Heron
A solitary Grey Heron stands guard over the roosting Lesser Crested Terns
Greater Sand Plover
a Curlew keeps company with a Bar-tailed Godwit
Curlews stand out in small flocks
Curlew any closer in soon give you a departing view
Numerous Isabelline Wheatears occupy the sea walls
Purple Heron one of 3 seen today
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