Archives for: 2013

2013-12-15

huge puddles, mud and a few birds

Permalink 21:03:19, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The recent rain were so heavy that many areas still remain flooded and inaccessible with dirt tracks heavily rutted and full of water. They are a nightmare to drive with the risk of getting stuck even in desert areas a constant possibility especial where deep pits caused by somebody else's nightmare could in my rent a wreck result in a a long painful dig out. Another problem with rain is that it disperses many species to remote areas, water, water, muddy water everywhere.


This coming week we celebrate Nation Day - so to start with Bahrain's national bird the White Cheeked Bulbul
White checked Bulbul

a closely related but introduced species the Red-vented Bulbul
Red vented Bulbul

Blue-throat a numerous wintering species common in many ditches and agricultural areas
Blue-throat

Spanish Sparrow male
Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow female
Spanish Sparrow

Stonechat
Stonechat

Kestrel
Kestrel

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Grey Francolin
Grey Francolin

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Find yourself a Desert Wheatear and close by the probability is you will find a Desert Warbler other species of winter wheatears don't seem to tolerate this close companion
Desert Warbler

Isaballine Wheatear - our most common wintering wheatear species
Isabelline Wheatear

Red-tailed Wheatear hard to find but always photogenic
Red-tailed Wheatear

Permalink

2013-11-30

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
Stonechat

Stonechat

In the fog
Stonechat

Stonechat

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
Skylark

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
Hoopoe

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

another misty image
Daisey

Permalink

2013-11-23

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
Dunlin

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

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 ??
gull

Heuglini Gull
Heuglini Gull

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Western Reef Heron
Western reef heron

Little Stint
Little Stint

Turnstone
Turnstone

Lesser Crested Tern
Lesser Crested Tern

Curlew
Curlew

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

Skylark
Skylark

Permalink

2013-11-19

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 hawar-islands.com
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 dickforsman.com]
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,

Dick

-------------------

Permalink

2013-10-26

GOOD WEATHER GOOD BIRDS

Permalink 11:19:42, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Many migrants and wintering species pop up in unexpected places

Blue Rock Thrush - found on the bounding wall of the reclaimed land at Buisaiteen
Blue Rock Thrush

Clamourous Reed Warbler from the ditches around Adhari
Clamorous Reed Warbler

Clamorous Reed Warbler

Stonechat Hamalah
Stonechat

Indian Mongoose one of three youngsters at Adhari scampering around the agricultural areas
Indian Mongoose

Isabelline Shrike with his breakfast of locust
Isabelline Shrike

Purple Heron chase this individual over two days to get some respectable shots
Purple Heron

Purple Heron

Permalink

2013-10-05

3 men in a Car

Permalink 08:08:30, Categories: Observation by Howard  

spent the morning out with visiting Birder Simon and resident Chris - visiting Hamalah, Buri and Buhair Valley - between us we clock up close to fifty species


From Hamalah a Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Also from Hamalah experimental farm - Steaked Weaver one of three all looking like yellow capped monks
Steaked Weaver

Glossy Ibis at Buhair Valley
Glossy Ibis

Ospey also found fishing at Buhair Valley
Ospey

Permalink

2013-10-02

A good weekends birding

Permalink 21:05:37, Categories: Observation by Howard  

A lot of birds passing at the moment but not all sit around and allow a decent photograph but enough do to make all the frustration of disappearing shadows worth while


Roller
Roller

Desert Lark
Desert Lark

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Front and back of the another individual
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Wheatear
Wheatear

Wheatear

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Redbacked Shrike
Redbacked Shrike

West Nile Red Bishop an esquape species that often pops up
Red Bishop

Ruff
Ruff

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

and one for the record a Ringed Caspian Tern from where remains a question mark
Caspian Tern and Black-blacked Back

Permalink

2013-09-14

Busaiteen

Permalink 17:20:19, Categories: Observation by Howard  

the reclaimed land at Busaiteen always produces a few unexpected birds and so it was today with two species of shrike

Lesser Crested Tern
Lesser Crested Tern

Socotra Cormorant
Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

Permalink

2013-09-13

hot and humid -

Permalink 20:25:29, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Am now back from an extended leave to find it still extremely hot and humid nevertheless there are plenty of different migrants arriving to make a days birding rewarding both from a watching and photographic point of view. On the shore, huge flocks of waders are beginning to form, less colourful than spring and early summer with birds moulting into rather drab winter plumage but still numbers make up for that. Gardens and scrub desert areas are beginning to fill with the first migrants moving back south. Hard to get a handle on they are for now nervous and constantly on the move.

Wheatear
wheatear

wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Tree Pipit
Tree Pipit

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

Namaqua Dove
Namaqua Dove

Honey Buzzard
Honey Buzzard

From: Radford, Doug
Sent: Mon 04/11/2013 10:05 PM
To: howardk at hawar-islands.com
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
-----------------------------
Fowlmere Nature Reserve

From: Dick Forsman [mail dick at dickforsman.com]
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,

Dick

-------------------

Ruff
Ruff

Dunlin in the front and Curlew Sandpiper behind
Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper

Dunlin
Dunlin

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Grey Plover

Little Stint
Little Stint

Redshank
Redshank

Redshank

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper

Turnstone
Turnstone

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Western Reef Herons
Western Reef Herons

Socotra Cormorants
Socotra Cormorants

Permalink

2013-07-12

its hot

Permalink 01:32:46, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The summer here has broken with a vengeance high humidity and even higher temperatures but even so the waders and shore birds are returning in ever increasing numbers


Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Broad-billed Sandpiper lands amongst Lesser Sand Plover
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Greenshank
Greenshank

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Saunders's Tern Juvenile
Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern
Saunders's Tern

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

Western Reef Heron a mottled youngster
Western Reef Heron

Permalink

2013-06-29

Very Hot but waders already returning

Permalink 08:37:02, Categories: Observation by Howard  

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.


White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Permalink

2013-06-15

More settled weather

Permalink 11:09:52, Categories: Observation by Howard  

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.


White-cheeked Tern
White cheeked Tern

Egg of White-cheeked Tern
egg

At the nest
at the nest

White-cheeked Tern in flight
wct IN FLIGHT

Lesser Crested
Terns

Caspian Tern
Caspian Tern

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Saunders's Tern Chick
Saunders's Tern Chick

Kentish Plover Chick
Kentish Plover Chick

Flamingo looking rather grubby a regular summer feature of coastal lagoons
Flamingo

Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

From the our dusty outing on 7th
White-cheeked Bulbul
White-cheeked Bulbul

Sapnnish Sparrow with House Saparrow in the background
Sapnnish Sparrow with House Saparrow

Permalink

2013-05-24

things have gone quiet

Permalink 23:24:40, Categories: Admin - Howard King  

The migration is over and we are left now with locally breeding summer species and post breeding dispersal species that roam the gulf in the summer


Black Kite
Black Kite

Black Kite

Crab Plover
Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Saunders's Tern
Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern

Rufous Bush Chat
Rufous Bush Chat

Permalink

2013-05-14

Permalink 07:12:26, Categories: Admin - Howard King  

Tempreatures this weekend peaked around 37c and the summer is not even here yet, last week it was down around 20 something so the difference is amazing but the funny thing was we had more rain in the week making it again very sticky off road. No a lot to report in the number of species passing but the Redbacked Shrikes were still here and even more numerous than last week. This week I kick off with some birds from around the puddles left by the rain.

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Ruff
Ruff

Ruff

Collared Dove
Collared Dove

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Lentish Plover
Lentish Plover

House Sparrow
House Sparrow

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Waders Turnstone Lesser Sand Plover and Dunlin
Waders

Squacco Heron in a ditch
Squacco Heron

Crested Lark - food for the brood
Crested Lark

Turnstone this one in the fields
Turnstone

Ortolan Bunting
Ortolan Bunting

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler

Redbacked Shrike
Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Issabelline Shrike
Issabelline Shrike

Lesser Grey Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike

In the sun and distant on the shore Waders Turnstone and Curlew Sandpiper
Waders

Terns Mostly Lesser Crested and Caspian with the odd Slender Bill Gull still around
Terns

Bar-tailed Godwits
Bar-tailed Godwits

Permalink

2013-04-28

Dull but muggy

Permalink 12:25:57, Categories: Observation by Howard  

What a contrast in the weather this weekend - muggy and heavily overcast with the sun only occasionally being glimpsed. I will remember this as the week of Shrikes so many in fact I lost count. Three species Red-backed Lesser Grey and Isabelline dominated the day. Willow Warblers although everywhere and far more numerous unless you twitched every bush they were hardly as noticeable as the Shrikes were perched on every available bush. I got the camera back but fixed fully open at 500mm seems the O ring on the tube has again become displaced. It seems to work most of the time but I did miss a few class shots as it failed to focus in time.

I started Friday early down at Askar Marsh where I found a Black-winged Stilt out in the open with a brood of 4 chicks. Seldom together I managed a few shots of some. The marsh was also holding a large number of Ruff, a few pairing Little Terns, and nesting Western Reef Herons and Little Egrets. Clamourous Warblers most of them ringed were very conspicuous.

After the marsh I drove around most green spots down south in the desert checking what was around and was surprised that I only found a few Wheatears, the hundred of the previous week had gone with just a few stragglers remaining. A distant Rock thrush was practically the sum total of birds on the Jebel.

On Saturday Adhari and the Farm at Hamala proved equally fruitful for Shrikes Willow Warbles Winchat Redstart and Spotted Fly Catchers. Swallows, Sandmartins with the odd Pratincole continue to pass, but the Bee-eaters passage remains light. Redthroated Pipits and a few wagtails remain


Blackcap - a female was the only one seen.
Blackcap

Redback Shrike
Redback Shrike

Redback Shrike

Redback Shrike

Lesser Grey Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike

Lesser Grey Shrike

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Rock Thrush
Rock Thrush

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Ruff
Ruff

Ruff

Redstart
Redstart

Redstart

Redstart

Bee-eater
Bee-eater

Bee-eater

Blackwinged Stilt and the chicks below
Blackwinged Stilt

Blackwinged Stilt chick
blackwinged stilt chick

blackwinged stilt chick

a record shot of the four
blackwinged stilt chick

Whinchat
Whinchat

Clamorous Warbler
Clamorous Warbler

Tree Pipit
Tree Pipit

Spotted Fly-catcher
Spotted Fly-catcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Indian Silverbills
Indian Silverbills

Collared Pratincole
Collared Pratincole

Little Terns pair bonding by passing fish note the female who recieved the fish is ringed - we have to date only ringed chicks in the nest so this bird is second generation
little Terns

Permalink

2013-04-21

Camera

Permalink 09:30:56, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Had a problem with my camera this week my 5000mm ate some dust and jammed the focus. Will add more pics during the week if I get it fixed hopefully my friend in Ashrafs will succeed.

The migration continues unabated Willow Barred and White-throats warblers being the most numerous species seen. Lots of Swallows Bee-eaters and an occasional Martin passing overhead with Red-Backed and Lesser Grey Shrikes, Northern Wheatears and still White-throated Robins to be found in the deserts and scrub areas down south. In the gardens Bush-chats, yellow wags and Red-throated pipits are now everywhere.

I meet with Abdulla Wednesday afternoon to view some Hoopoe Chicks in a nest at Hamalah only to find the nest had been raided and the chicks taken. No doubt if the chicks survive more than a day or so they will end up being sold in the nearest local market at Hamad Town for a few dinars.

Permalink

2013-04-14

Getting warmer- wind beginning to subside

Permalink 17:10:12, Categories: Observation by Howard  

I started the day picking up an old friend Simon Wilson and we headed off to Busaiteen - an odd experience thousands of cricketers but very few birds - given that the tide was high there was nothing worthwhile on the shore. The waders are still here but today they were not roosting at Busaiteen. Still had a good time out with Simon visiting many old haunts but didn't think much of the Shisha joint we went to in Adaliya we have to blame Ali for that who we meet there.


Greyplovers a picture just to show the colour plumage diversity
Greyplovers

Chiffchaff one of dozens seen
Chiffchaff

Short-toed Lark
Short-toed Lark

Collared Pratincole only one seen today
Collared Pratincole

Roller
Roller

Whinchat females were also seen
Whinchat

Permalink

2013-04-06

Rain followed by a dust storm

Permalink 11:50:05, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Seems the weather wants to disrupt the flow this week - it rained from squally showers on Friday which settled the dust locally however by the evening a giant dust storm moved in from the Arabian peninsular making the eveing and Saturday morning a nose itching and eye rubbing event. However as I post I have just heard my first Bee-eater of the season however yesterday was unique as I didn't record other than Prinia a single warbler.


Ortolan Bunting
Ortolan Bunting

Ortolan Bunting

Ortolan Bunting

Quail
Quail

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Saunders's Tern - an early starter at Busaiteen - the Little terns at Adhari have yet to lay
Saunders's Tern

Socotra Cormorants on the move off the Saudi Causeway here a few thousands of the tens of thousands in this flock
Socotra Cormorants

Redstart female
Redstart

Pratincole four recorded at Buri
Pratincole

Pratincole

Curlew now five at Hamalah Farm
Curlew

Hoopoe there are hundred around this year
Hoopoe

Grey Francolin one of thousands many with extended families of chicks
Grey Francolin

Pallid Harrier one of two encountered today
Pallid Harrier

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Permalink

2013-03-30

Hot weather and birds a plenty return

Permalink 12:00:25, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The migration this year is amazing the desert areas of Bahrain are alive with Red-throated Robins and thousands of Wheatears. Warblers can be found skitting from bush to bush and in the gardens Pipits and wagtails are moving in - in large numbers.

Abdulla has been ringing wheatears Redthroated robins by the handful this year see the ringing pages (later) for those images I spend the day Friday checking out the desert areas looking for the unusual - I was lucky I found a flock of Pale Rock Saprrows south of the Jebel heard some Trumpter finches which I failed to locate and counted hundreds of both Northern and Pied Wheatears. I saw Orphean, Menetries and Lesser Whitethroats aplenty but could not get near enough in my two wheel drive rent a wreck to photograph.


Blue Rock thrush - female
Blue Rock thrush

Pale Rock Sparrow
Pale Rock Sparrow

Pale Rock Sparrow

Pale Rock Sparrow

Rufous Bushchat the first return for this local summer breeding species
Rufous Bushchat

Roller
Roller

Blackeared Wheatear
Blackeared Wheatear

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Emerald Starling an escaped exotic cage bird
Emerald Starling

Masked Shrike
Masked Shrike

Plenty of our miniture Dino's around
the Daub Lizard
Daub Lizard

Permalink

2013-03-22

Warm and windy and migration hotting up

Permalink 16:46:14, Categories: Admin - Howard King  

The bird of the week has to be the Great Spotted Cookoo Abdulla saw close to the F1 track last Saturday for me the Caspian plver was nice to see managed a few middling photos despit it being on the sunny side. Found the male Little Bittern while stalking my boggey bird the kingfisher at Adhari pleased with the results


Caspian Plover at Buri
Caspian Plover

Little Bittern at Adhari
Little Bittern

Pied Wheatear female
Pied Wheatear
male
Pied Wheatear

Northern Wheatear females now joing the males that arrived several weeks back
Northern Wheatear

Probable Black-eared Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Isabelline shrike - phoenicuroides
Isabelline shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Permalink

2013-03-09

wind and dust continue

Permalink 06:53:26, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Despite the strong wind and occassional dust this weekend proved to be far better than I had hoped. Warblers Pipits Wagtails and Wheatear continue to arrive but from a photographic standpoint remained largely unapproachable. Nervous is the best way to describe them.

On Friday I started in the ditches behind Adhari park at around 7am then I moved to Jasra, Hamalah finishing at Buri. The first bird seen was a Redrumped swallow followed by an old friend who we will call the forever disappearing Kingfisher, He will be gone before I manage a decent photo. One ditch in particular was full of birds and many species. However I missed many but did get some interesting shots of those deeper in the ditch and vegetation. Hamalah and Buri were disappointing in number of birds seen but Wheatears were plentiful. Jasra was interesting for the pair of Hoopoe I found at a hole in a wooden hut. This is suggestive of breeding once proven it will be our second record for the species this year. Abdulla visited the location on Sunday and witnessed the birds copulating looking interesting!!

Citrine Wagtail
Citrine Wagtail

Citrine Wagtail

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

Graceful Prina
Graceful Prina

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Night Heron
Night Heron

Kingfisher
Kingfisher

And then we have this Tawny Pipit the wrong colour compared to all our other wintering birds so am currently puzzled why this Tawny Pipit is this colour

Pipit

Pipit

Indian Mongoose
Indian Mongoose

Permalink

2013-03-01

wind and dust arrive

Permalink 22:05:12, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Not the easiest weekend birding wind and dust made it hard to find many warblers except at a distance as they kept their heads down. In the end I ended up at the Jebel chasing the odd wheatear and a whole load of Blue Rock Thrush.


Blue Rock Thrush
Blue Rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush
Rock Thrush

Red Tailed Wheatear
Red Tailed Wheatear

Red Tailed Wheatear

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

the ever present Desert Lark
Desert Lark

Permalink

2013-02-23

A much busier W/E

Permalink 12:22:57, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Well I can official announce that the return migration has well and truely started. Last weekend my only new species to photograph was a Woodchat Shrike picture (included here) this week saw the return of more Warbler species (some captured on the camera) with Menetries, Orphean, Reed, more Barred, Lesser Whitethroat, and Chiffchaff plus a Pied Wheatear so won't be long before we see even more.


Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Menetries Warbler - a really lucky shot at distance deep in a bush
Menetries Warbler

Isabelline Shrike so tame now I can almost strroke her by hand
Isabelline Shrike

Stonechat this one at Adhari his colour indicates he will move north soon.
Stonechat

This one from those wintering a Hamalah
Stonechat

Caspian Gull
Caspian Gull

Desert Wheatear one of many that has been wintering
Desert Wheatear

Curlew
Curlew

Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Greenshank
Grey Heron

Bluethroat for some reason the White spotted ones are hard to get close to but this onee has been around all winter
Bluethroat

Skylark
Skylark

From the garden
White-cheeked Bulbul
White-cheeked Bulbul

Palm Doves with a sparrow all interested in the same thing
Palm Doves

Indian silver-bills
Indian silverbIills

Permalink

2013-02-10

still relatively quiet

Permalink 08:14:01, Categories: Observation by Howard  

After last weeks heavy rain it was good to get again, the rain makes sticky ground off road, the slightest detour and its get a tow truck.

I spent a good length of time investigating warblers, they represent the first signs that the migration has started but all to no avail that was until Saturday afternoon when in my own garden a Barred Warbler suddenly turned up.


Barred Warbler
Barred Warbler

Barred Warbler

Barred Warbler

Hoopoe -a pair have been in residence all winter at Hamalah Experimental Farm -
on Saturday Abdulla noticed one carry food into a hole in an adjacent house wall indicating that
after a long absence (1978) Hoopoe are again breeding here in Bahrain
Hoopoe

Spanish Sparrow - a flock of around 200 can now be found at Hamalah they have displaced House Sparrows as the most numerous species here
Spanish Sparrow

Red-vented Bulbul - from my garden
Red-vented Bulbul

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Isabelline Shrikes two individuals current have been wintering at Hamalah we think the barring indicates that this is female rather than a juvenile
Isabelline Shrikes

isabelline Shrike

Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Stonechat male
Stonechat male

Small Skylark
Small Skylark

Skylark
Skylark

Ring-necked or Rose-ringed Parakeet
Ring-necked  or Rose-ringed Parakeet

Great Grey Shrike one day I will get a close up but this individual is very flighty
Great Grey Shrike

Curlew although there are hundred on the shore only few are found on farmland feeding
Curlew

Out and about
a Great White Egret remains at Alba marsh
Great White Egret

Dunlin the most numerous wader currently on the shore
Dunlin

Grey Plover - no change in plumage yet
Grey Plover

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Marsh Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper

Broad-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Redshank
Redshank

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper

Turnstone
Turnstone

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

Socotra Cormorant here a juvenile
Socotra Cormorant

Permalink

2013-01-19

Back in Bahrain

Permalink 02:13:23, Categories: Observation by Howard  

After a terrible week it warmed up enough to make todays first outing of the year a pleasant experience. I spent the early morning at Adhari ditches before going onto Hamalah and the experimental farm. In all it was quiet but the days highlight was a Robin (not photographed) at Hamalah.


Masked Shrike
Masked Shrike

Little Bittern - this time around a female
Little Bittern

Squacco Herron
Squacco Herron

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Greenshank
Green Shank

Graceful Warbler
Graceful Warbler

Kingfisher
Kingfisher

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Stonechat
Stonechat

Namaqua Dove
Namaqua Dove

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Permalink

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