Archives for: 2015

2015-12-13

Strong winds and rain showers

Permalink 16:57:46, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Last post of the year shall be away through Christmas

Strong winds and last months rain showers made access for observations difficult at times, there is nothing worse than being stuck in the mud. Even the desert is treacherous at this time; soft sand gains a hard crust, break through that at your peril if you want to get a nasty sinking feeling.

The month was interesting to say the least as the hunt for winter rarities turned up a Chaffinch, a sporadic winter visitor at Hamalah. Mind you it took me two weeks to finally get a photograph, otherwise standard winter fair other than to report the two Pied Kingfishers at Adhari grew to three with two more found in residence at Buhair ponds.A steppe Buzzard was really the only other notable species recored during the last two weeks.

Chaffinch at Hamalah
Chaffinch

Chaffinch

Steppe Buzzard at Hamalah
Steppe Buzzard

Steppe Buzzard

Black-necked Grebe at Buhair others now wintering Tubli and at the race course
Black-necked Grebe

Keeping company with little Grebes
Black-necked Grebe

Pied Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Corn Bunting over twenty wintering at Hamalah
Corn Bunting

Blue-throat now numerous and wide spread
Blue-throat

Sparrow Hawk
Sparrow Hawk

Marsh Harrier this one over Ras Sanad
Marsh Harrier

Red-tailed Wheatear around a dozen on the Jebel Dakhan
Redtailed Wheatear

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt

Curlew only one on the fields whereas hundred along the shore
Curlew

Hypocolius - took Willi Firbas from birdlife Internation Austria visiting his family here to view, over 300 seen that morning
Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Skylark
Skylark

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Greenshank
Greenshank

Rose-ringed Parakeet and Mynah squabble over landing rights
squarkers

Scally Breasted Munia
Scally Breasted Munia

A Bishop possibly Yellow-crowned Bishop (juvenile)
Weaver

Namaqua Doves
Namaqua Doves

Permalink

2015-11-21

Migrants remain slow but rarities shine

Permalink 19:02:42, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The migration remains slow but among the birds seen were three rarities that make last few week outstanding

First up was a Yellow-browed Warbler (5th record)that had found its way ito a breeding avairy in Jidhafs on the 15th, the owner removed, photographed and released the bird.

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

In Buri seen for the briefest of moments allowing but a single shot this Siskin was found on the 20th. A first for me and the 8th record for Bahrain
Siskin

Siskin

Next was this WoodLark at Adhari - a first for me and only the 4th record for Bahrain on the 21st
Wood Lark

Wood Lark

Stonechats are everywhere here both male and female together at Buri
Stonechats

Squacco Heron numbers increasing now a successful resident breeder
Squacco Heron

Night Heron moving from juvenile to adult plumage
Night Heron

Littern Bittern a male
Littern Bittern

Kingfisher
Kingfisher

Great Reed Warbler
Great Reed Warbler

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Curlew the birds that occupy the fields are different from those that occure solely on the shore
Curlew

Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

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

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Graceful Warbler - Prinia
Prinia

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Mongoose
Mongoose

Isabeline Wheatear
Isabeline Wheatear

Hypocolius at the morning collectioon point in Jasra now over 300 present
Hypocolius

Permalink

2015-11-08

Some new arrivals but migration remains slow

Permalink 17:35:45, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Better late than never this weekend saw an increase in activity with the arrival of pipits and larks but warblers remain hard to find. A visit to the morning collection point in Jasra for the Hypocolius however proved fruitfal with more birds passing through than previously seen, over 200 this time.

Clamourous Reed Warbler now an established local vocal breeding species
Clamourous Reed Warbler

Desert Wheatear good numbers now
Desert Wheatear

Grey Hypocolius
Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Grey Hypocolius

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Purple Heron
Purple Heron

Coot
Coot

Moorhen - juvenile
Moorhen

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Great Northern Cormorant over flying the island - something Socotra would never do
Great Northern Cormorant

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Skylarks
Skylarks

Stonechat
Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Water Pipit

Water Pipit

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

Permalink

2015-10-31

Hot weather affecting migration and birds at risk

Permalink 16:19:40, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Without a doubt land birds have been seriously affected by the hotter than usual temperatures in Bahrain this year with observation of the numbers of migrant species declining dramatically. The variety has gone - warblers are almost totally lacking, as are many lark and pipit species. Thrush Rollers and Oriels and many shrikes species either missing entirely from the record or only briefly glimpsed. With heavy rains and more irrigated areas in parts of Arabia making for larger green patches there and given the decreasing green spaces and open water here - are species changing their routes ignoring Bahrain - the lack of variety and numbers certainly makes me wonder. Even those that make it here now run the risk of being trapped the fate of many Wheatears and Kestrels or shot if you are a duck and water birds despite legislation banning hunting. A complete lack of environmental enforcement is to blame on this count - little point passing laws and having great legislation without application. This year I have seen an increase of trapping from Maharraq to the southern desert. It has to stop as does the rampant destruction of water courses, the grubbing up of thorn and other native trees plus the continual dumping of building waste on every bit of open ground. Is anybody actually managing the environment is a question I ask myself continuously every time I go out. Take a look at the litter now already visible around Sakir camping grounds to answer that question.

To start with a Pied Kingfisher in the ditches behind Adhari Park - an area that environmentally needs minimal improvement yet is earmarked for so-called accessibility preplanning - a prelude to development if you ask me - its time planners and those green finger consultants started going out and actually observing what is there in the way of endangered species - terrapins, frogs, fish, birds etc. they might then reconsider the nature of their so called improvement plans.


Pied Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher

So back to what I did see thankfully we still have the shore and waders despite the best efforts of developers and planners to destroy much of the intertidal zone with new reclaimation however thanks to settlement time some good habitat still exists which compensated in a small way.
Extreme high tides this week brought a lot of waders to the shore

Broad-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Broad-billed Sandpiper

In with curlew Sandpipers
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper taking up wintering quarters
Common Sandpiper

Curlew hundred in several flocks seen
Curlew

Dunlin thousand the most numerous wader
Dunlin

Ringed Plover
Ringed plover

mixed waders
waders

waders

waders

waders

waders

White-winged Tern
White-winged Tern

Greenshank
Greenshank

Terek Sandpipers
Terek Sandpipers

Redshank
Redshank

Redshank

Baltic/heuglins Gull
Baltic Gull

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Juvenile Flamingo
Juvenile Flamingo

Permalink

2015-10-25

A long weekend

Permalink 22:07:49, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Species count is beginning to increase as winter regulars begin to be recored however many passage migrant species normally seen during this period have either pass us by entirely or failed to turn up, have not been seen at all. For instance there is a distinct shortage of Warblers and larks.

Kingfisher
Kingfisher

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater this one with a deformed beak struggles with a grasshopper
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

European Bee-eater
Bee-eater

Bee-eater

Bee-eater

Black-crowned Night Heron - a barely fledged juenile
Black-crowned Night Heron

Chiffchaff still only a few seen
Chiffchaff

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Grey Francolin
Grey Francolin

Great White Egret
Great White Egret

Hypocolius
Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Indian House Crow
Indian House Crow

isabelline Shrike
isabelline Shrike

Indian Silver-bill
Indian Silver-bill

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Kestrel
Kestrel

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Osprey
Osprey

Osprey

Masked Shrike
Masked Shrike

Namaqua Dove
Namaqua Dove

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Stonechat
Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

Tree Pipit
Tree Pipit

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Moongoose
Moongoose

Permalink

2015-10-10

Slow but intersting passage

Permalink 18:41:24, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Still slow - but think the higher than normal temperature might be holding birds back - this weekend saw a lot more pied wheatears but only a single Desert while in contrast Duck numbers seem to be up especially at Tubli

Desert Warbler
Desert Warbler

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

large flocks of Slender-billed Gulls all around northern shores
Slender-billed Gulls

Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

Greater Sand Plover now moving into drab winter plumage
Greater Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Gull-billed Tern in scattered small flocks
Gull-billed Tern

Lesser Crested Tern now moving onshore after breeding
Lesser Crested Tern

Hoppoe
Hoppoe

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Sand Martin unusal to find one having a sand bath
Sand Martin

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow

Sacred Ibis a ferral breeding species
Sacred Ibis

Shoveller - large numbers at Tubli along with smaller numbers Mallard Teal Garganey Pintails
Shoveller

Shoveller

Permalink

2015-10-02

Still hot and humid

Permalink 21:38:35, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Back after a trip over seas it proved to still be hot humid and relatively quiet


Bee-eater steady passage
Bee-eater

Bee-eater

Great Grey Shrike one of several seen
Great Grey Shrike

Indian Silver Bill numbers growing again after disappearing to breed
Indian Silver Bill

Isabelline Shrike one of many that will over winter
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Wheatear good numbers many will stay in situ for the winter
Isabelline Wheatear

Pied Wheatear good numbers seen
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Collared Pratincole three juveniles seen
Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Spotted Flycatcher a single bird
Spotted Flycatcher

Yellow Wagtail only a few so far
Yellow Wagtail

Namaqua Dove spreading out again after breeding
Namaqua Dove

Creasted Lark
Creasted Lark

White-cheeked Bulbul
White-cheeked Bulbul

Permalink

2015-08-22

Busy with waders on the shore

Permalink 15:43:27, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The only place currently to find any species in good numbers is the shore. Breeding terns although still numerous are now overwhelmed by ever increasing numbers of waders. Although many species started returning in July it is August through to September that is the time that sees the most dramatic change in both species and numbers on the shore. Many birds still at least partilaly sport their breeding plumage so with others in a state of flux making the shore a pic and mix of colour schemes.
The weekend also saw the arrival of our first passerines with two Isabelline Wheatears and some larks seen on the Busaiteen shore

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Lesser Sandplover
Lesser Sandplover

Lesser Sandplover

Bar-tailed Godwits with a good mixture of waders
Bar-tailed Godwits

Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Greater Sandplover center with Lesser to the left and a Kentish behind good for size and jizz comparisons
Greater Sandplover

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Little Stint
Little Stint

Redshank to the rear with much smaller Kentish Plover to right
Redshank

Ruddy Turnstone
Ruddy Turnstone

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Socotra Cormorant
Socotra Cormorant

White-cheeked Tern - adult
White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern - juvenile
White-cheeked Tern

Lesser Crested Tern
Lesser Crested Tern

Busaiteen
Busaiteen

Samaheej
Samaheej

Waders

Permalink

2015-06-01

Not much to report

Permalink 14:57:26, Categories: Observation by Howard  

It has been a dissappointing few weeks for photography - just nothing of merit around so this last weekend it was back to the shore to check out summer breeders and late departures

White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked tern

Little Tern
Little Tern

Little Tern
Little Tern

Little Tern

small gulls Blacke-headed and Slender-billed Gulls
small gulls

I put this down as Common Tern but am far from certain -
Common Tern

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Grey Plover

Dunlin
Dunlin

Common Mynah
Mynah

Lesser Grey Shike
Lesser Grey Shike

Permalink

2015-05-03

May begins with the arrival of summer breeding terns

Permalink 18:02:33, Categories: Observation by Howard  

An enjoyable three day weekend but little change in species passing and numbers from last week. Many local resident species are busy breeding and chicks are beginning to show, particular abundant were Black-winged stilt and Kentish Plover chicks.

On the shore a lot quieter these days with many wading species having already moved north leaving but a few colourful stragglers however to compensate our summer breeding terns are starting to assemble in good numbers before their breeding season gets underway here.


Black-winged Stilt Chick
Black-winged Stilt Chick

Kentish Plover Chick
Kentish Plover Chick

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper
Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper

Greater Sandplover
Greater Sandplover

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Terreck Sandpiper
Terreck Sandpiper

Saunders's Tern
Saunders's Tern

Little Tern
Little Tern

Lesser Creasted Tern
Lesser Creasted Tern

Lesser Creasted Tern

White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern

Socotra Cormorant juvenile - breeds in the winter October to March
Socotra Cormorant juvenile

Caspian Tern breeds from October
Caspian Tern

Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron

Sacred Ibis assumed to be from locally breeding feral population - it never turned after going to flight
Sacred Ibis

Ortolan Bunting increased numbers
Ortolan Bunting

Spotted Flycatcher increased numbers
Spotted Flycatcher

Permalink

2015-04-26

Yet another dust storm ruins the weekend

Permalink 15:59:44, Categories: Admin - Howard King  

For the second week in a row wind and dust has played havoc with planned trips out - Saturday was a complete wash or rather dust out even a drive around the shore of Maharraq proved a waste of time as far as photography was concerned. A frustating weekend lots seen not much new photographed - worst miss was a Nightingale at ten feet carried away in the wind before I could even point the camera


Great Grey Shrike - taking up territory
Great Grey Shrike

Turtle Dove - a breeding resident
Turtle Dove

European Bee-eater - a steady stream all week but even they had problems sitting still
Bee-eater

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

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Ortolan Buntings
Ortolan Buntings

Glossy Ibis the number seen at Buhair has now increased to 7
Glossy Ibis

Hoopoe - a good breeding year at least four pairs around Hamalah
Hoopoe

Rufous Bushchat
Rufous Bushchat

Rufous Bushchat

Black Redstart - this one now two weeks around the same tree
Black Redstart

Northern Wheatear has been an exceptional year for the species
Northern Wheatear

Pied Wheatear still large numbers around
Pied Wheatear

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Collared Pratincole only a single bird found this week
Pratincole

Spotted Flycatcher good numbers in the plantations
Spotted Flycatcher

Ruff
Ruff

Snipe and Green Sandpiper fairly common around wet areas
c

Permalink

2015-04-19

Shammal winds bring more dust to marr weekend weather

Permalink 15:19:42, Categories: Observation by Howard  

As Bahrain prepared to host the F1 the weekend weather took a turn for the worst, a case of Murphy's Law, strong winds with rising sand and dust marred the peak period for observation of the current migration. Observation of the smaller species was particularily difficult with many like the warblers just staying low in the vegetation and scrub. Even larger species when found like Rollers and Rock Thrush were often just carried away when disturbed. Visibility in open areas was nigh on impossible at times making it a bleak time for increasing the species list.

Black Kite from the Jebel - a group of 5 was also seen over Manama
Black Kite

Grey Francolin - new broods are now very much in evidence
Grey Francolin

Glossy Ibis - 4 at Buhair
Glossy Ibis

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Permalink

2015-04-11

Migration continues to be interrupted by Sand Storms

Permalink 16:07:24, Categories: Observation by Howard  

This year finding migrants has been reduced to chance, Sandstorms and bad weather have interrupted our normal patterns - so many species are missing or have not seen while others have proved to be unusually common and wide spread like Pratincoles. Many Warbler species simply have not been seen, possible moving in and out between weather events whereas they would normally hang around for a few weeks. Pied in the spring are normally our most numerous Wheatear numbers this year are way down with Northern being the most commonly observed. Observations of a single Roller and Rock Thrush are typical, last year we were overwhelmed. For some species it might be early days yet but already its the middle of April and my over all list is a little bare.

Black Redstart - few and far between
Black Redstart

Redstart mre numerous this year
Redstart

Collared Pratincole common - largest flock was of 15 at Buri
Pratincole

Pratincole

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Ortolan Bunting smaller number than in previous years
Ortolan Bunting

Red-throated Pipit good numbers in a variety of locations
Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Tree Pipit only this one seen
Tree Pipit

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Masked Shrike scarce
Masked Shrike

Masked Shrike

Uperchers Warbler seen but elusive
Uperchers Warbler

Uperchers Warbler

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler

Pied Wheatear fewer observed
Pied Wheatear

Martin fewer seen
Martin

Swallow as common as ever
Swallow

Marsh Harriers and Pallid continue to move through
Marsh Harriers

Isabelline Wheatear numbers remain stable
Isabelline Wheatear

Graceful Warbler a chirpy resident
Prinia

Namaqua Dove breeding resident numbers still increasing
Namaqua Dove

Permalink

2015-03-28

Excellent photographic opportunities

Permalink 15:11:14, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Despite wind and further rain showers the last few weeks have proved a bonaza for photographic opportunities to get to grips with some of Bahrains rarer migrant species. Top this up with a good mix of more regular passage migrants there have been some good birding opportunities.

Cinereous Bunting
Cinereous Bunting

Cinereous Bunting

Cinereous Bunting

Wryneck
Wryneck

Wryneck

Wryneck

Wryneck

Wryneck

White-throated Robin
White-throated Robin

White-throated Robin

Rufous Bushchat
Rufous Bushchat

Redstart
Redstart

Redstart

Ortolan Bunting
Ortolan Bunting

Ortolan Bunting

Ortolan Bunting

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Lesser Short-toed Lark
Lesser Short-toed Lark

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Citrine Wagtail
Citrine Wagtail

European Bee-eater
European Bee-eater

Permalink

2015-03-21

Weather turns nasty but migration contuinues slowly

Permalink 17:23:34, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Typical sight on the shore line as waders gather before moving on


Curlew, Whimbel and Bar-tailed Godwits
Curlews and friends

Bar-tailed, lesser Sandplover, Little Stint and Dunlin
mixed waders

Broad-billed Sandpiper and Dunlin along with Sandplover and Curlew Sandpiper at the back
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper

Dunlin
Dunlin

Flamingo
Flamingo

Bar-tailed Godwits with a Grey Plover and a Reef Heron in the background
Godwits

Greyplover

Grey Plover

Greyplover

Saunders's Tern
Saunders's Tern

Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

Turnstone
Turnstone

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Lesser Crested Terns fronted by a Caspian Tern
Lesser Crested Terns

Redshank
Redshank

Caspian Tern
Caspian Tern

Permalink

2015-03-07

Better weather brings more migrant species

Permalink 20:04:29, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Better weather this weekend brought a lot more species - most obvious were again Wheatear species, Woodchat Shrikes, Yellow Wagtails and Willow Warblers with Ruff, Wood Sandpipers and Glossy Ibis in good numbers around watering holes.

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Siberian Stonechat
Siberian Stonechat

Stonechat
Stonechat

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

Lesser Short-toed lark
Lesser Short-toed Lark

Kestrel
Kestrel

Starling
Starling

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Permalink

2015-02-28

Migration and spring begins to kick in

Permalink 15:31:24, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The weather has improved the cold starts and blustery winds have died away and at last new species are beginning to turn up as the migration season starts to get into full swing. Although seen Warblers, thrushes and larks remain illusive in front of the camera.

Probably the last photo opportunity before they move out for Bluethroat proves to be the best

Bluethroat
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Pied Wheatear good numbers in all locations
Pied Wheatear

Blackeared wheatear
Blackeared Wheatear

Blackeared Wheatear

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Stonechat
Stonechat

Tawny Pipits
Tawny Pipits

Blue Rock Thrush
Blue Rock Thrush

Black Kite just passed on through
Black Kite

Pallid Harrier along with Marsh still wintering
Pallid Harrier

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Starling
Starling

Red Rumped Swallow
Red Rumped Swallow

Black winged Stilt
Black winged Stilt

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Flamingo
Flamingo

Little Stint
Little Stint

Temminks's Stint
Temminks's Stint

Yellow-billed Stork wildbird? it has no ring
Yellow-billed stork

Yellow-billed stork

Ruff
Ruff

Greenshank passes by
Green shank

Wood Sandpiper - ringed
Wood Sandpiper

Snipe
Snipe

Permalink

2015-02-14

Bad weather and only a few migrants birds

Permalink 15:23:43, Categories: Observation by Howard, Admin - Howard King  

The last few weeks we have expienced extended periods of high winds and bad visibilty due to dust. Add to this a shortage of new migrant species passing, birding in generally has been low key. A few Pied Wheatear where noted this weekend along with a lot more Chiffchaffs indicating that this situation should change soon. I spent a considerable ammount of time looking for a ringed Flamingo on Tubli Bay after Abdulla Kabi our local ringer spotted one at the sewage outfall at Tubli. Needless to say by the time I got there it had diasappeared amongst the thousand currently resident.

Desert Warbler one of my favourite species wintering species this one was found at Buhair
Desert Warbler

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Isabelline Shrike just one of many
Isabelline Shrike

Skylark
Skylark

Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow

Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Snipe
Snipe

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Clamourous Reed Warbler
Clamourous Reed Warbler

Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Redshank
Redshank

Curlew
Curlew

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Ring Plover
Ring Plover

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

Oyster Catchers
Oyster Catchers

Permalink

2015-01-25

Rain and high tides makes for good birding

Permalink 17:03:01, Categories: Observation by Howard  

This weeks rain did produce some good puddles in unusual places, such pools generally bring out of cover species that otherwise are difficult to photograph. Unfortunately this year the rains were early and before the main migration has started so the results thus far have been limited. Bluethroat were one species that after weeks of chasing however were easy to find out in the open. The long weekends (a consequence of the sad passing of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia) coincided with the high morning tides, occuring close to sunrise each day this brought onto shore large flocks of roosting waders - always an easy way to get a good feel for the number of birds and species around at any given moment.

One mystery however were these Greater Sand Plover - unusal to say the least to find them in late January in such an advance state of breeding moult


Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

From the gardens

Siberian Stonechat
Siberian Stonechat

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Issabelline Wheatear
Issabelline Wheatear

Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Not the best photo but an orange spot
Bluethroat

Sunrise on the shore

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper

Turnstone
Turnstone

Little Stint
Little Stint

Dunlin
Dunlin

Mixed roost
Island

Many Lesser Sandplover with some Dunlin Little Stind mixed in
Small Waders

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Around the shore

Gull-billed Tern
Gull-billed Tern

Gull-billed Tern

Gull-billed Tern

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Greenshank
Greenshank

Redshank
Redshank

Redshank

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Flamingo
Flamingo

Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

Western Reef Heron - dark
Western Reef Heron

Western Reef Heron - light
Western Reef Heron

Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Kingfisher from the lagoon in front of Arad Fort
Kingfisher

Permalink

2015-01-17

A good weekend at desert wetspots and in the gardens

Permalink 15:41:33, Categories: Observation by Howard  

After last weeks cold snap the weekend weather although foggy at the start on both Friday and Saturday was much much seasonal - warm with a fresh breeze. With a low morning tide I spent the weekend in checking on our winter visitors having been away for Christmas and New Year in and around my favourite gardens and the wet spots in the south.

Buhair provided some interesting observations but given the size of the site it proved as always difficult to get close to many species seen. I was surprised by the number of Warblers noted - Chiffchaff Great Reed most likely Clamouraous Desert Warblers plus several unidentified species were seen. Serveral Snipe, Green Sand Piper and Citrine Wagtails along with at least two Marsh Harriers made the visit interesting. On the ponds as expected huge numbers of Black-winged Stilt, Blackheaded Gulls, Egrets and Herons with Moorhen, Little Grebe and a solitary Coot but no marsh or little tern seen hunting. The Rocky areas produced few Wheatears, a couple of Isabelline and a single Desert where the only ones observed.

In the desert areas under the eastern rim rock at the various green spots used for waste water disposal large numbers of small waders where seen but nothing exceptional.

The Gardens at Buri Hamalah and along the nothern fringe produced no surprises and remained generally quiet however it is always nice to see close up many of our wintering species. I failed to get a single picture of the many Bluethroats or meadow pipits seen. The Number of Corn bunting has dramatically increased since before Christmas as has the number of Skylarks including Small or Oriental.

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Moorhen
Moorhen

Little Stint
Little Stint

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Green Sand Piper
Green Sand Piper

Snipe
Snipe

Coot
Coot

Citrine Wagtail
Citrine Wagtail

Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt

Great White Egret
Great White Egret

Fancy Pigeon - one of many now to be seen around the desert
Fancy Pigeon

Desert Hyacinth
Desert Hyacinth

many bushes and shrubs now in bloosom
in flower

in flower

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

From the gardens
Stonechat
Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow

Graceful Warbler
Graceful Warbler

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Kestrel
Kestrel

Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier

Permalink

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