Spent most of Friday morning out along the shores of Maharraq with Chris Moorey - checking for breeding terns and returning waders.
Greater Sand Plover and local breeding residents; Saunders's Terns and the Kentish Plover dominated the species seen on the shore however Lesser Sand Plover and Redshank were noted in smaller numbers along with a few locally breeding white-cheeked Terns and Western Reef Herons. A solitary Socotra Cormorant and a few Grey Herons added to the tally.
A quick stop at the National museum and its garden turned up a Clamorous Reed Warbler of all things otherwise a pleasant but quiet morning.
Greater Sand Plover
After nearly two weeks of blinding dust storms it was nice to be able to see some birds let alone see where one was going - last Friday was one of the worst I have experienced in terms of what is politely called rising sand over the southern part of the desert. I had taken now resident birder Chris Moorey out but in the desert areas once you got south of Riffa wind, dust and god knows what else flying around all prevented us from doing any real birding.
Yesterday I headed for Busaiteen to check on the waders and terns - a few White-cheeked Terns were found - some still on nests others with chicks ranging from a few hours to a few days old. The Saunders little Terns continue to breed with most chicks already fledged but I was still able to find a single wandering chick. Given the number of cars that criss cross this reclamation its really is amazing how the birds survive, but they seem to thrive. On the Shore good number of both lesser and Greater Sand Plovers were found along with a good number of Kentish Chicks and Turnstones; Western Reef Herons Caspian and Lesser Crested Terns along with Slender-billed Gulls made up most of the birds seen.
Egg of White-cheeked Tern
At the nest
White-cheeked Tern in flight
Western Reef Heron
Greater Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover
Saunders's Tern Chick
Kentish Plover Chick
Flamingo looking rather grubby a regular summer feature of coastal lagoons
From the our dusty outing on 7th
Sapnnish Sparrow with House Saparrow in the background
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