Archives for: 2014

2014-12-30

At home in UK return in January

Permalink 17:32:00, Categories: Admin - Howard King  

Not enjoying the cold weather and lack of birds

cold and still frosty

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2014-12-14

Foggy start to weekend

Permalink 15:13:18, Categories: Observation by Howard  

On both Friday and Saturday heavy fog blanketed most of my favorite birding sites. At the Jasra roost each morning for the Hypocolius I could hear the assembled flock but only managed to glimpse a few departing shadows. By the time the fog lifted around 7 all but a few had departed. The heavy dew did however provide an opportunity to see some species normally skulking in the undergrowth including some of our odd ball escapes.

web

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Corn Bunting - over thrirty at Hamalah
Corn Bunting

Skylark one of hundreds
Skylark

Stonechat
Stonechat

Stonechat

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Starling
Starling

Bimaculated Lark - five at Hamalah, one at Buri
Bimaculated Lark

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Pin-tailed Whydah
Pin-tailed Whydah

Red-billed quelea
Red-billed quelea

A female of something
unknown

Permalink

2014-12-06

Bright and breezy a good weekend

Permalink 15:07:26, Categories: Observation by Howard  

After last weekends disaster when rain and gales stopped play it was good to get out and chase birds around the many puddles that last weeks storm left - nothing exceptional except four Bimaculated larks at Hamalah but good birding never the less. Saturday was restricted by road closures for the Triathalon so I concentrated on Busaiteen shorelines but with a low tide not the best time for photography but good numbers of wintering species seen.


Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Citrine Wagtail
Citrine Wagtail

Spotted Munia originally an escape now seen across the Island
Spotted Munia

Indian Silverbill
Indian Silverbill

Grey Hypocolius from Jasra - arriving early over a hundred not so confiding birds were seen
Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Bimaculated Lark four seen on farmland in Hamalah no chance for closeups unfortunately
Bimaculated Lark

Bimaculated Lark

Bimaculated Lark

Ruff
Ruff

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Grey Francolin
Grey Francolin

Osprey at an inland site
Osprey

Osprey

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Permalink

2014-11-16

Traces of rain and cloudy sky

Permalink 17:11:15, Categories: Observation by Howard  

These last weekends I covered a variety of habitats looking for any new species that is passing - I found little change in the shorebirds and gardens populations other than Skylarks Water and Meow Pipit that have now arrived in numbers but the Jebel Al Dakhan did produce a few surprises. Reported first in the week I was fortunate enough to get some images on the Jebel of the Short Toed Snake Eagle that had been seen south of Riffa. Had it not moved from its high rocky perch to another location I doubt that I would have noticed it.

The other surprise was with the Whitecrowned Black Wheatears the two seen on the Jebel over the last three weeks turned into three with another specimen turning up on the western flank. However I still have not been able to find a single Mourning Wheatear but there are also good numbers of Desert, Isabelline and Red-tailed wheatears to be found.


Short-toed Snake Eagle
Short-toed Snake Eagle

Short-toed Snake Eagle

From the Gardens
Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow

Stonechat
Stonechat

Pratincole
Pratincole

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Skylark
Skylark

Skylark

Issabelline Wheatear
Issabelline Wheatear

Red-tailed Wheatear this one from Buhair valley
Red-tailed Wheatear

Red-tailed Wheatear

The ever present Crested Lark
Crested Lark

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2014-11-05

Warblers remain scarce but other species still passing through

Permalink 15:19:11, Categories: Observation by Howard  

These last two days we had a two day Holiday for Ashora so I spent one day in the desert areas around the Jebel with the other in and around the greener corners of the western side of the Island. Compared with previous years it remains quiet however most noticeable was the complete lack of warblers not a single bird was seen.


Blue-cheeked Bee-eater common throughout this period
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

White-crowned Black Wheatear now two on the Jebel - hopefully they will stay for some time and allow a closer approach
White-crowned Black Wheatear

White-crowned Black Wheatear

White-crowned Black Wheatear

White-crowned Black Wheatear

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Pied and Isabelline remain numerous while often seen Red-tailed wheatear remained flighty however despite extensive searches I failed to locate a single Mourning Wheatear

Desert Larks - over a dozen were seen just around the Jebel
Desert Larks

3 Collared Pratincole were found at Hamalah always approachable they are an endearing species
Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Stonechats numbers are beginning to build for this colourful winter resident
Stonechat

Stonechat

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

White-cheeked Bulbuls
White-cheeked Bulbuls

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2014-11-01

Highly endangered Sociable Plover but otherwise quiet

Permalink 16:22:43, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The weekend was relatively quiet for new migrants but the weekend was made rather special with the observation of a single Sociable Plover at Buri. Found on recently ploughed ground I spent hours waiting for the bird to move into a position where I could get some reasonable photographs, which proved to be worth the wait.


Sociable Plover
Sociable Plover

Sociable Plover

Sociable Plover

Jasra, a small flock of Grey Hypocolius was found early on Friday morning unfortunately badly placed for photography
Grey Hypocolius

Tawney Pipit
Tawny Pipit

Grey Grey Shrike - more numerous this year than last this one from Dumistan
Grey Grey Shrike

Pied Wheatear still very common with many not having having moved on as yet
Pied Wheatear

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

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2014-10-26

A long weekend and a visit to Hawar

Permalink 18:37:21, Categories: Observation by Howard  

With the Islamic New Year Holiday on Sunday I was able to used the extra time I was able to use the weekend to visit the Islands of Hawar. The outer Islands all twenty plus of them are a very special place, an undisturbed paradise a naturalists dream. With the Socotra Cormorants now nesting on the northern most Islands the Rubuds, the others islands are now relatvely quiet in terms of bird movements with Osprey the most obvious species. Just beginning to reoccupy their nests ready for the breeding season around twenty pairs will eventually breed but the biggest surprise was that of a solitary Sooty Falcon found still present. They have normally left by now for southern wintering grounds around Madagascar after completing their summer breeding cycle. With just a few straggerlers left the thousands of White Cheeked terns and Lesser Crested terns had also dispersed away from the Islands most south to the Indian Ocean, being replaced by large wintering flocks of Slender-billed gulls. A lot of small indentified migrants were also seen skipping between the islands as I motored around in the boat. Even though only a short visit with no time to undertake any serious observations it was a superb break away from my normal haunts which I fitted in on the Sunday.

Hawar Osprey nests
Hawar

Hawar

Hawar

Osprey
Osprey

Osprey

Ospey

a distant Sooty Falcon - easly missed in the landscape
Sooty Falcon

From out and about
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Some the escapes doing well around Adhari
Red Bishop
Red Bishop

Common Waxbill
Common Waxbill

Pin-tailed Wydah
Pin-tailed Wydah

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Stonechat
Stonechat

Permalink

2014-10-20

slow weekend

Permalink 19:58:27, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Temperatures are still much higher than normal which seems to have discouraged many birds from moving south. Diasppointing is the best way to desribe numbers recored but we wait for next week. Best bird of the weekend was the first Hypocolius of the season seen briefly at Hamalah


Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
blue-cheeked bee eater

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Kestrel
Kestrel

Kestrel

perched Isabelline Shrike and Isabelline Wheatear
perched

White-cheeked Bulbul
White-cheeked Bulbul

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Permalink

2014-10-13

Only a few new species seen on the move

Permalink 16:06:16, Categories: Observation by Howard  

A steady dribble of new migrants was seen this weekend and on the shore wader numbers are now dominated by Dunlin and Little stints

Dumlin with a little stint
Waders

Waders Thousands now line the shore
Waders

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Montagu's Harrier
Montagu's Harrier

Black Kite
Black Kite

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Curlew
Curlew

Dunlin
Dunlin

Green Shank
Green Shank

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Little Stint
Little Stint

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Turnstone
Turnstone

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2014-10-08

Eid Mubarrak - slow increase seen in numbers of migrants returning

Permalink 16:35:46, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Overall during the Eid break finding new migrant species to record was difficult to say the least, at times the results phtographically were disappointing with that seen remaining too distant for a classic pictures. Possibly the hot weather persistant throughout had something to do with it, however this week a NW Shammal is about to kick in which should bring a greater influx ready for next weekend.

On Sunday for instance I spent the entire day cruising the desert with my core time around the Jebel - only one wheatear was found. However my disappointment was offset as the species seen was a super raity, a first year White-crowned Black only my third in twenty years. Sadly it remained aloof prefering the distant crags of the Jebel Dekan making it possible only to get a record shot. During the break several visits to Hamalah produced five Red Advadavats, these were seen well but proved totally camera shy prefering each time I approached to disappear into the tallest grass. Around Busaiteen the huge number of Wheatears of the previous week had moved on leaving just a few larks and Desert Warblers to be chased. The low tides didn't help moving the waders too far away for good photography.

To start the bird of the Eid holiday, a rather distant White-crowned Black Wheatear
White-crowned Black Wheatear

Pallid Harrier - one of five individuals both male and female seen
Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier

At the Tubli sewage outfall besides the usual large number of waders Herons Egrets and Gulls a good number of Duck of four species were found - Shoveller, Gargany, Mallard and Teal

No mistaking the clourful and distinctive bulk of a Shoveller
Shoveller

Shoveller

Shoveller

Desert Warbler one of two found at Busaiteen
Desert Warbler

Greater Short Toed Lark one of a small flock of around a dozen or so at Busaiteen
Greater Short Toed Lark

Red-backed Shrike a first year found behind Adhari Park
Red-backed Shrike

Great Grey Shrikes were found at a variety of Locations from lush gardens to barren desert
Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Isabelline Shrikes in all their variety remain as numerous as ever
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Hoopoe numbers up from last week
Hoopoe

Resident Indian Silverbills the comics of the gardens remain very approachable
Indian Silverbills

The resident Common Mynah noisey and gregareous numbers still increasing
Common Mynah

Having disappeared south during the summer Namaqua Dove now can be found around the margins of agriculural land in central Bahrain
Namaqua Dove

European Bee-eater more heard than seen
European Bee-eater

Red Bishop the small feral flock still exists at Adhari Gardens
Red Bishop

Cattle Egret now a local breeding species they are everywhere
Cattle Egret

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear

Ortolan Bunting a few scattered birds found this one from Adhari
Ortolan Bunting

Pied Wheatear most have moved on but a few remain both Female and males found
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

a distant Roller seen passing through the oil fields
Roller

Stonechat the first of the winter found at Hamalah
StoneChat

Swallows just keep on coming
Swallows

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Lesser Kestrel
Lesser Kestrel

Common Sandpiper good numbers found around the shore and at wetland margins
Common Sandpiper

Coot first of the year found on the pond at Buhair
Coot

Red-vented Bulbul attacking his own reflection in a car wing mirror
Red-vented Bulbul

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2014-09-29

Surprisingly qiet

Permalink 16:05:34, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Wheatears and shrikes still prominent but only a few additional other species seen this weekend

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Cattle Egrets
Cattle Egrets

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Indian Silverbills
Indian Silverbills

Permalink

2014-09-21

Still hot and migration produce few surprises

Permalink 10:38:57, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Temperatures this weekend still hovered close to 40c so I spent most of my time exploring agricultural areas gardens and anywhere with fresh water.

Along with a Woodchat and a Masked it was a weekend for Shrikes


Great Grey Shrike quite a few about not always the easiest to photograph
Great Grey Shrike

Greta Grey Shrike

Isabelline Shrike with over twenty individuals seen they will remain the most prominent shrike around
Isabelline Shrike

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Namaqua Dove
Namaqua Dove

the two Glossy Ibis at Buhair have now turned into six -
Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

A few Duck, Malard and Gargany mingled with a lotta Little Egrets Black Winged Stilts Ringed Plover and a few Pacific Golden Plover

Pacific Golden Plover

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2014-09-14

Migration filling the foreshore

Permalink 11:22:32, Categories: Observation by Howard  

I have now returned from after extensive period overseas - this weekend I spent my time catching up with birds on the foreshore of Busaiteen - which is always a nice way to slip back in and find out what is on the move.


Socotra Cormorant a young bird - one of many seen fishing of the shore
Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Lesser Sand Plover as numerous as ever more so at the moment that Greater
Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover with a Kentish Plover in the forground
Greater Sand Plover

Kentish Plover - so many these days with many being local residents - after a successful breeding season
Kentish Plover

Dunlin the most numerous wader around at the moment along with Little Stints
Dunlin

Little Stint
Little Stint

Grey Plover many still retain some summer plumage
Grey Plover

Bartailed Godwit - a good number recorded in small flocks around the shore
Bartailed Godwit

Turnstone
Turnstone

Curlew Sandpiper numers increasing
Curlew Sandpiper

Greenshank
Greenshank

Redshank
Redshank

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper

Lesser Crested Tern
Lesser Creasted Terns

Northern Wheatear the most colourful seen
Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear - the most numerous wheatear seen
Isabelline Wheatear

Greater Short-toed Lark
Greater Short-toed Lark

Permalink

2014-08-19

ON HOLIDAY

Permalink 10:49:52, Categories: Admin - Howard King  

back later this month

Permalink

2014-07-06

Hot and humid but waders starting to return in numbers

Permalink 15:20:23, Categories: Observation by Howard  

An excellent weekend for birding with a surprising range of species seen. The usual local suspects seem to have had a good breeding year with Western Reef Herons seeming to have breed everywhere. Some waders are beginning to return with Greater Sandplover being the most prominent many still in fading breeding plumage. Lesser Sand and Grey Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Curlew, Whimbrel, Redshank and a few little stint added further variety to the shore. locally breeding Little and Saunders's Terns along with huge numbers of Kentish Plovers still dominate many areas but the numbers of Slender-billed Gulls and Famingo along with good numbers of Caspian Terns are beginning to increase.

The gardens are still quiet but interest still remains by way of exotic species, breeding escapes that seem to have managed to thrive. southern Red Bishops, Pin-tailed Wydah and Red-bill Quelea keep popping up everywhere. The most intersting newly recorded species for us however is the White-spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthopygos, Chris Moorey and myself saw a single individual at Hamalah some six weeks back and I by chance have one other in my compound garden in Manama - The Red-vented and White-cheeked Bulbuls get very upset when its around. A native around Arabia we wonder if these abservations are the start of an increase in breeding range. This territorial behaviour has made getting a picture dificult but I remain hopeful.


Pin-tailed Wydah
Pin-tailed Wydah

Red-billed Quelea
Red-billed Quelea

White-cheecked Terns the eternal opportunist breed almost anywhere - some of the many on the reclaimed land at Busaiteen.
White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

Western Reef Heron are a common breeding species around all coast and wetland sites
Western Reef Heron

White-winged Black Tern left front - found at the mangroves at Ras Sanad two young Litle terns right and a Slender-billed Gull at the rear
White-winged  Black Tern

Striated or Green-backed Heron barely visible in the mangroves at Ras Sanad
Striated or Green-backed Heron

Little Stint
Little Stint

Juvenille Saunders's Tern
Juvenille Saunders's Tern

Redshank
Redshank

Kentish Plover juvenile
Kentish Plover juvenille

Glossy Ibis one of two at Buhair valley
Glossy Ibis

This Squacco Heron a very dark chocholate brown on the back looks so different to all the others who still are a beautiful buffish tanned brown that it could easily be mistaken for a Indian Pond Heron but the steaking on the breast and flanks are more consistant with Juvenile Squacco
Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Permalink

2014-05-31

Summer begins so back to the shore

Permalink 22:51:54, Categories: Observation by Howard  

the migration such as it was this year has definitely finished leaving only a few late departures our summer breeding and resident birds


Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover with a Kentish Plover behind
Lesser Sand Plover

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Grey Plover

Curlew
Curlew

Saunders's Tern
Saunders's Tern

White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

Permalink

2014-05-17

Mixed bag of migrants with a glut of Red-backed Shrikes

Permalink 16:52:29, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Hundreds of Red-backed Shrikes led the list of migrants these past two weeks. The best birds seen were a Corncrake and Cinereous Bunting both at Buri on the 10th unfortunately neither was photographed. Also numerous were willow Warblers that passed in their hundreds and Lesser Grey Shrike with a good showing along with Spotted Flycatchers.


Lesser Grey Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike

Red-backed Shrike
Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Winchat
Winchat

Winchat

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Indian Silverbill way out in the desert on the Jebel of all places
Indian Silverbill

Ortolan Bunting
Ortolan Bunting

Permalink

2014-05-03

More birds around after storm

Permalink 11:50:57, Categories: Observation by Howard  

After Thursdays storm more species seem to be around than previously seen but even then this years migration less dramatic than previous years - question is has wide spread regional winter rains allowed birds to move on a broader front or is climate change having an effect on migration patterns?

Lesser Grey Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike

Black-eared Kite
Black Kite

Black Kite

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Rufous Bushchat
Rufous Bushchat

Spotter Flycatcher
Spotter Flycatcher

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Permalink

2014-05-01

a fantastic 1st of May

Permalink 19:23:47, Categories: Observation by Howard  

After a night of strong winds thunder and lightning Chris and I started early today 6am - the thunder and lightning continued as did a few light showers making for a spectacular start to the day. Among the fallen trees Shrikes, warblers, Rollers aplenty but the day belongs to some firsts "Lifers" for Chris which I have put up first


first thing this morning
Weather

White-throated Robin - female seen a Buri
White-throated Robin

White-throated Robin

Lesser Kestrel one of two males seen at Hamalah
Lesser Kestrel

Lesser Kestrel

Lesser Kestrel

Pratincole
Pratincole

Roller between last week and today nine individuals recored
Roller

Roller

Roller

Whinchat one of three seen at Buri
Whinchat

Hoopoe - one of five seen today at Hamalah
Hoopoe

Red-wattled Plover -at Hamalah - probably the same bird first seen some three weeks back
Red-wattled Plover

Indian House Crow
Indian House Crow

Whitethroat one of two seen - this one in my garden in town
Whitethroat

Red-Backed Shrike at last with six seen today
Red-Backed Shrike

Glossy Ibis - seen at Buhair last weekend
Glossy Ibis

White-cheeked Tern pair bonding the passing of fish - here a female accepts the offering but then disappears
White-cheeked Tern

Record images of other species seen - not the the best - an Orphean Warbler seen at Buri and a beautiful female Rock Thrush were not photographed

Lesser Grey Shrike one of five seen today none of which would allow close approach
Lesser Grey Shrike

Willow Warbler with today at Buri a good number seen
Willow Warbler

Permalink

2014-04-21

Migration still slow with few birds

Permalink 09:09:10, Categories: Observation by Howard  

For what ever reason be it weather or something more sinister this years the migration can only be described as disappointing - having looked at every possible habitat and at vary times of the day I can only state - so few birds, so few species.

Black-winged Stilt I found a pair with two chicks wandering in the road behind Adhari Park making one hell of a racket - the reason one chick was too small to mount the kerb - a quick helping hand from me soon enabled the family to finish their early morning stroll


Black-winged Stilt

Chick Black-winged Stilt
Chick Black-winged Stilt

Displaying Crested Lark
Crested Lark

Graceful Warbler
Graceful Warbler

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike Same individual in flight
Isabelline Shrike

Rufous Bushchat declaring his territory singing from the top of tree
Rufous Bushchat

A ringed individual evidence that birds return year in year out to the same locations
Rufous Bushchat

Spotted Flycatcher - 4 seen this weekend
Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

On the Shore
Western Reef Heron dark morph in full breeding plumage
Western Reef Heron

LEFT TO RIGHT Lesser Sand Plover, Turnstone, Terek Sand Piper
Turnstone

Greenshank
Greenshank

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Turnstone lands in the early morning light
Turnstone

Slender-biller Gull
Slender-biller Gull

Little Terns stretches its wings with a Saunders's Tern in the foreground
Little Terns

Fishing Little Tern
Little Tern

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Terek Sandpiper strolls past some Dunlin
Terek and Dunlin

Permalink

2014-04-13

Migration pattern not following the book

Permalink 22:09:40, Categories: Observation by Howard  

After a forced absence due to a lack of photos to display online down to a problem with my camera we still have continued to bird, recording often little more than a trickle rather than a flood. Many Species arrivals were not as expected, some we haven't seen while others have occurred in larger numbers only to disappear almost immediately. Yellow wagtails for instant normally come in waves, sub species by sub species but this year they appeared two weeks ago and have not been seen since. Spotted Flycatchers are normally numerous yet this year I have seen only one. Rock Thrush are annually hard to find but this year I had eight on the Jebel Dakan all in one spot. Shrikes other than Isabelline are scarce, Wheatear definitely fewer in number as is the case with Bee-eaters. So overall its been a strange few weeks.

Missed with no camera was a great observation of Red Wattled Plover at Hamalah seen close up and an Egyptian Nightjar on the ground in daylight from ten feerr on the 5th

Little Bittern at least three pairs in residence at Adhari
Little Bittern

Little Bittern

Egrets and Herons - continue to thrive with at least two Great White and a same number of Purple Herons to be found just at Adhari ditches and pools
Egrets and Herons

Moorhen are thriving - numbers seem to increase every year
Moorhen

Another breeding species on the up - Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Temmincks Stint a solitary bird seen
Temmicks Stint

Common Sandpiper smaller numbers than usual
Common Sandpiper

Tree Pipit good numbers and staying for much longer
Tree Pipit

Willow Warbler a steady flow
Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler

Yellow Wagtail good numbers two weeks back then - only the occasional bird
Yellow Wagtail

Wyneck they continue to be seen
Wyneck

Woodchat Shrike only the forth this year
Woodchat Shrike

Isabelline Shrike so many I have lost count
Isabelline Shrike

Upcher Warbler one seen
Upcher Warbler

Sparrow Hawk
Sparrow Hawk

Rufous Bushchat started arriving two weeks ago now everywhere
Rufous BushChat

Rock Thrush turning up everywhere - here at Hamalah
Rock Thrush

Red-throated Pipit One species that has bucked the trend and remained numerous
Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Pied Wheatear good numbers but still down
Pied Wheatear

Northern Wheatear a few and then only at Hamalah
Northern Wheatear

Ortolan Bunting starting to arrive hopeful signs
Ortolan Bunting

Black Redstart a few both male and female
Black Redstart

Marsh Harrier one distant sighting
Marsh Harrier

Barred Warbler just one so far
Barred Warbler

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2014-03-15

HOTTING UP

Permalink 15:22:49, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The spring migration has been slow to start but things are definately hotting up as is the weather, provided the dust storm moves quickly on. Last week-end saw little change but today there were a lot more species around but Birds remain difficult to approach. As they fatten up hopefully that will change.


Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Great-grey Shrike
Great-grey Shrike

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Kestrel
Kestrel

Pied Wheatear female
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Rock Thrush
Rock Thrush

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

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2014-03-01

Migration oncourse birds starting to arrive

Permalink 01:25:06, Categories: Observation by Howard  

St Davids Day weekend; the wind made observations difficult, with the small stuff hard to get to grips with but the desert was full of Wheatears and Isballine Shrikes with colour supplied by some Rock Thrush.

Rock Thrush
Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Redtailed Wheatear
Redtailed Wheatear

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Stonechat
Stonechat

Chiffchaff anly fleeting glances - Lesser White-throat and Orphean Warbler were also seen
Chiffchaff

Reem Gazelle
Reem Gazelle

Desert Hyacinth
Desert Hyacinth

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2014-02-23

another quiet day

Permalink 21:21:26, Categories: Admin - Howard King  

Saturday and another trip to the gardens raised hopes that the migration is about to start for real. A Wryneck and the first Woodchat Shrike of the season are good indicators the return cannot be far away. Checking the Hypocolius roost area in Jasra for stragglers first thing in the morning also proved quite fruitful. Not many birds remain from the large wintering flock but over twenty birds were noted but flew on from the morning roost by 7-30.


Wryneck
Wryneck

Grey Hypocolius
Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Isabelline Shrike numbers are beginning to increase as migrants join our wintering birds
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Woodchat Shrike a distant shot of the seasons first
Woodchat Shrike

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2014-02-22

Few but good birds

Permalink 00:18:12, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Over all a disappointing day with few species recorded although initially before getting anywhere special I found a Blue Rock thrush along side the main Highway. The farm areas around Jasra and Hamalah and the lake at Dumistan produced nothing new so as a last resort I tried Buri. After an initial unfruitful tour of quite an expansive area a rather attractive Stonechat caught my attention but no sooner had I stopped to line up for a photo luck smiled for there on the track was a Caspian Plover - so tame I was able to spend the next few hours happily snapping away as it wandered in and out of the vegetation and even into full frame view in the camera.

Caspian Plover
Caspian Plover

Caspian Plover

Blue Rock Thrush
Blue Rock Thrush

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Stonechat
Stonechat

Permalink

2014-02-16

The day of the Heron

Permalink 13:31:28, Categories: Observation by Howard  

There is always an element of luck when watching birds in Bahrain as the number and variety of species seen is always a factor of the time of year and the locations visited. Make the wrong choices and you can end up seeing only the regular resident species however if luck smiles, being on a migrant flyway, Bahrain is hard to beat. The latter was the case this weekend. Friday morning was crisp and damp with a heavey dew, expecting some warblers to be on the move I decided to concentrate on gardens with Adhari ditches and gardens planned as the first port of call. With a good mix of habitat and plenty of wet areas, it should produce a warbler or two but I was not prepared for what I found - Few warblers only Herons & egrets of every shape and size where ever I looked. Many were roosting in just a few clumps of trees with an easy approach. I ended up with an amazing species list of heronry without getting my feet wet. Throw in a few other species and I can only say it was an amazing morning. I never did make any other site.

The bird of the day had to be the Greenbacked or Striated Heron I found and almost ignored thinking it just another night Heron. Sat low down in a dark corner it was its yellow eye that seperated it from the many red eyed Night Herons among the trees. A real raity with only 5 previous records for Bahrain this is I believe the first time one has been photographed.

Green-backed Heron
Green-backed Heron

But back to the trees and the species seen from a single location - some of the more interesting pics of the species photographed. With a distance about 60 to 70 mtrs between me and the trees the reference pictures taken are not displayed here.

trees

Squacco Heron - 5 others seen around the site
Squacco Heron

Purple Heron - single individual displaying in the trees
Purple Heron

Purple Heron

Little Bittern - one other an adult male seen
Little Bittern

Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron

Cattle Egret with 3 in the tree
Cattle Egret

Songthrush
Songthrush

From around the site some of the other species photographed

Black-crowned Night Heron in total 13 were seen
Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Clamorous Warbler
Clamorous Warbler

Graceful Warbler
Graceful Warbler

Little Egret one of 18 seen
Little Egret

Hard to find harder to see a male Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Great White Egret
Great White Egret

Grey Heron - 3 observered
Grey Heron

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

and in the ditches

Terrapin
Terrapin

Permalink

2014-02-11

An interesting weekend

Permalink 12:45:50, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Signs of life by way of an increase in the number of winter visitors was noted this last week-end. Nothing outstanding or rather special was seen however but one got the sense that spring was not far away, was on the way.


At Buhair valley between Isa Town and Riffa the flooded valley has become the temporay refuge for a large number of Black-winged Stilt -
Black-winged Stilt

Several Gardens contain a good number of Corn Buntings often heard they can be difficult to see
Corn Bunting

Isabelline Shrike - Wintering numbers are down on previous years but still the most comonly seen shrike species
Isabelline Shrike

Marsh Harrier - coming out of the sun one of several wintering this year
Marsh Harrier

Steppe Buzzard - one of two seen this one trailing some form of string tether from being caught previously which sadly, if it gets caught on a branch or fence wire could easily result in the bird becoming tangled and dying a lingering death
Steppe Buzzard

Wood Sandpiper one of several seem at Buhair valley
Wood Sandpiper

Whimbrel - a very common long term visitor of wetlands and coastal margins

	

Whimbrel

Lesser Creasted Tern - less numerous outside their summer breeding season good numbers remain through the winter
Lesser Creasted Tern

Flamingo - a youngster one of many seen among the large wintering flocks
Flamingo

Great White Egret - a species that can popup almost any time of the year
Great White Egret

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2014-02-01

slow times - blustery weather waiting for the rush

Permalink 15:34:43, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Nothing great to report on still - only the same old wintering & resident species to report on - the return migration is no far away so we wait ----

in the mean time


from Adhari a male Little Bittern - a resident breeder
little bittern

Great Black-headed Gull - a regular short but scarce mid-winter visitor
Great Black-headed Gull

Squacco Heron - now a resident breeder increasing in numbers
Squacco Heron

Grey Francolin - widespread and common resident breeder
Grey Francolin

Bluethroat - common wintering species
Bluethroat

Issabelline Shrike - common wintering species
Issabelline Shrike

Stonechat - colourful and abundant winter vistor
Stonechat

Snipe - around favoured maginal wet habitat a regular easily put to flight along with Pintails
Snipe

Grey Heron - a common bird of coasts and wetland habitats
Grey Heron

Permalink

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