Archives for: November 2013


Foggy morning with heavey dew

Permalink 09:41:08, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Dense fog this morning which didn't lift till gone 9 o'clock made life difficult yet again in getting around. Nothing worse than driving in soft ground not being able to see wheer you are going. It did provide a surreal landscape at times but with the long lens this was impossible to capture on film but the heavy air did light up smaller things when the sun finally came out.

Spiders web
Spider web

Stonechat with so many around maybe the easiest species to spot this morning


In the fog


Jack Snipe a hard bird to find but this one ignored me as it sat in the same place for several hours
Jack Snipe

unlike this Pin-tailed Snipe which was seen only briefly in the fog then took to flight and disappeared on the click of the camera into the gloom
Pin-tailed Snipe

Isabelline Wheatear - this bird followed me around picking off the grasshoppers I disturbed - a very tame and confiding bird
Isabelline Wheatear

Wood Sand Piper
Wood Sand Piper

Skylark one of the thousands now wintering here

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

Water Pipit our most numerous wintering pipit
Water Pipit

Spotted Eagle - this is possibly the same individual that over wintered last year - hopefully I will in time be able to get a decent photograph again
Spotted Eagle

Hoopoe I think this is one of the individuals that bird breed locally in Hamalah this year - one of at least four pairs recording breeding

Indian Silverbill now more apparent over the fodder fields at the experimental farm at Hamalah
Indian Silverbill

another misty image



Torrential rains and gales

Permalink 18:10:36, Categories: Observation by Howard  

A week of torrential rain which caused extensive flooding in low lying desert areas also turned normal country tracks into quagmires making it a frustrating weekends birding. I spent longer digging myself out of the mud than I did birding. Plenty of birds around too but access was a real problem so extensive was the standing pools of water. I even managed to get bogged down at the experimental farm at Hamalah I had to call on Abdulla to tow me out of of a muddy sink in what is normally solid ground, thus photography was restricted to what I could get close to in drier accessible areas with

Dunlin dominate the forshore waders in numbers but many can also be found feeding around inland flood areas

at the chicken farm an island of manure provides these birds with a food bank

Ringed Plover - the same was the case with Ringed Plover here on the shore at Busaiteen
Ringed Plover

here inland at a flooded pool
Ringed Plover

On the shore huge numbers of large White headed Gulls can be currently found

this one is I believe an ?? Gull
Armenian Gull

this could also be ??

Heuglini Gull
Heuglini Gull

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Western Reef Heron
Western reef heron

Little Stint
Little Stint


Lesser Crested Tern
Lesser Crested Tern


Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isballine Wheatear makes a meal out of the caterpillar of a Hawkmoth
Isballine Wheatear

Isballine Wheatear

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit




Positively identified as Crested Honey Buzzard

Permalink 20:35:17, Categories: Admin - Howard King  

Observation incorrectly reported as Honey Buzzard on September 13 this year 2013

The positive Identification as a Crested Honey Buzzard has to be credited to Doug Radford and Dick Forsman

to them my thanks

From: Radford, Doug
Sent: Mon 04/11/2013 10:05 PM
To: howardk at
Subject: crested honey-buzzard photo

Dear Howard,

I was browsing your photos (having been drawn to your website by the request for information about the colour-ringed Caspian tern on the btoringers forum) and spotted the one you have labelled as a honey-buzzard posted on 13th September. Having recently had occasion to look more closely at the differences between European and crested HBs, I thought your photo was the latter so I sent a link to Dick Forsman. Dick was very helpful when I was preparing a note about my CHB in Cyprus, and he has confirmed my i.d. (see below). I hope you are happy with this.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Radford
Site Manager

Now Identified as a Crested Honey Buzzard

Honey Buzzard

Fowlmere Nature Reserve

From: Dick Forsman [mail dick at]
Sent: Mon 04/11/2013 6:08 PM
To: Radford, Doug
Subject: Re: CHB note

Hi Doug,

Thanks for sending me the write-up of your CHB record - I did not have it from before!

Thanks also for the link to the Bahrain bird, which indeed is a 2nd cy female CHB, just as you thought yourself. It seems CHBs are in fact more common in Arabia than European HBs contradicting older records, when they were all thought to be European.

best regards,




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