Archives for: October 2016

2016-10-29

The hot weather continues possibly affecting migration

Permalink 15:53:22, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Either someone has wiped out entire species of migrant populations or the continuing hot weather and global warming is having a distinct detrimental effect on the migration pattern we are experiencing here this year. Or are there other factors having an effect. There remains a distinct shortage of small stuff - mostly warblers and pipits even wagtails but alarmingly for instance no Oriels and only a few Rollers and thrush species have been noted. Both myself and friends who photograph birds in passing on a regular basis have recorded the same to the point that we are asking "where have our birds gone". Normally I am away for August but this year I wasn't so under recording or lack of obs time is not a factor. Someone suggested that this was not the effect of global warming alone but due to the fact that to our north we have large war zones through which our birds have to pass and people were hunting birds out of necessity birds for food or as in the case for Saudi and Kuwait hunting them just for fun to the point few are making it through.

In a normal year the Hypocolius arrive from around the 15th of October this year it was this weekend two weeks late. They are a species I monitor very closely - when here they can be easily found very early any mornings as they do congregate in know areas. They do however remain at this time of day difficult to photograph the rising sun can be difficult to get around.

Hypocolius
Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Clamorous Reed Warbler now a resident breeding species
Clamorous Reed Warbler

Clamorous Reed Warbler

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater a steady passage but overall small in comparison to other years
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Bee-eater a disappointing show
Bee-eater

1st year Citrine Wagtail fast becoming a rarity
Citrine Wagtail

Curlew despite the hundreds around our shores only now has the one become two at Hamalah
Curlew

Curlew

Isabelline Shrike a species bucking the trend - good numbers this year here 3 of the 5 at Hamalah
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Wheatear reasonable numbers
Isabelline Wheatear

Stonechat just beginning to arrive in any real numbers
Stonechat

White Wagtail just the odd one or two normally we have hundreds
White Wagtail

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Cattle Egrets now a substantial breeding species
Cattle Egrets

Little Grebe like many resident breeding species it has been a good year
Little Grebe

No shortage on the shore thankfully of our regular species other than Spoonbills and Marsh Sandpiper - Back-headed Gull - one of thousands
Black-headed Gull

Gull-billed Tern
Gull-billed Tern

Mallard an unusual sight to behold at Hamalah - a fodder farm
Mallard

Mallard

Common Mynah an escaped species reaching almost plague proportions in some areas
Common Mynah

Namaqua Dove
Namaqua Dove

Temmink's Stint
Temmink's Stint

Permalink

2016-10-22

Quiet weekend - as temperatures remain high

Permalink 14:54:21, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Have noted quite a few lonely warblers moving through but getting a decent photograph has proved nigh on impossible - but some days have their compensations like this Friday when I found two Marsh Harriers socializing together at Hamalah.

Marsh Harriers at Hamalah
Marsh Harrier

the right hand bird
Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

The left hand bird
Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater only a few seen today
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Isabelline Shrike one of five or six wintering at Hamalah now
Isabelline Shrike

White-throat this one was in my own garden - pic taken through the window - one of many seen
White-throat

Permalink

2016-10-15

The hot weather continues passage in parts slows

Permalink 15:13:19, Categories: Observation by Howard  

A strange migrant season thus far for certain, with normally common species very late in arriving others not being seen at all. One species beating the trend however is Desert Warbler numbers normally seen in a season are being repeated on a daily basis.

This is rather A large posting since it cover two mid week excursions made during the Ashora Holidays.

Desert Warbler
Desert Warbler

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Lesser Kestrel
Lesser Kestrel

Lesser Kestrel

Lesser Kestrel

Lesser Kestrel

Lesser Whitethroat
Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Masked Shrike 1st winter
Masked Shrike

Masked Shrike

Mourning Wheatear
Mourning Wheatear

Ortolan Bunting
Ortolan Bunting

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Short-toed Lark
Short-toed Lark

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Stonechat
Stonechat

Stonechat

Swallow
Swallow

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

Waxbill
Waxbill

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

Wood Sandpiper
Wood sandpiper

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

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

Crested Lark
Crested Lark

Great Reed Warbler
Great Reed Warbler

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Gulls
Gulls

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Purple Heron
Purple Heron

Redshank
Redshank

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

Dunlin and a single Broad-billed Sandpiper
Dunlin

Permalink

2016-10-08

A really strange Weekend

Permalink 16:30:59, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Started Friday checking Busaiteen but this time around ended up with nothing special so moved on to a variety of other sites not a great deal there either, in all rather disappointing - I had expected these sites to be jumping. On Saturday I repeated the process a just in case I had missed something scenario - what a difference - birds particularly warblers, wheatears, and Isabelline shrikes streaming into the northerly facing beaches. It was difficult to know what to chase however with much of the small stuff it was a quick drop down then up and away to look for more favorable feeding grounds but not so for the Wheatears in particularly. They hung around on the shore happily picking off insects in the flotsam along the tide line.

But one nice thing about Busaiteen it does give one a chance to get to know the locals

Socotra Cormorant a young bird malting into adult plumage
Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Orphean Warbler from Busaiteen the only Warbler that hung around
Orphean Warbler

Pied Wheatear probably the most numerous Wheatear coming ashore at Busaiteen
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear at Busaiteen
Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Shrike on the shore
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Desert Wheatear on the shore
Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Desert Warbler
Desert Warbler

Desert Warbler

Desert Warbler

Spotted Fly Catcher
Spotted Fly Catcher

Spotted Fly Catcher

Spotted Fly Catcher

Clamourous Reed Warbler a now resident breeder this one from Adhari ditches
Clamourous Reed Warbler

Cattle Egrets
Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Southern Red Bishop from Adhari - an escape still going strong
Southern Red Bishop

Southern Red Bishop

Short Toed Lark
Short Toed Lark

Ringed Plover at the chick farm Hamalah with -
Ringed Plover

Turnstone
Turnstone

and Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt

Permalink

2016-10-02

Long Weekend dust variable winds - Good Birds

Permalink 03:06:20, Categories: Observation by Howard  

After returning from the States and failing to get any free time to bird with a Shammal predicted I didn't expect the Muharrem holiday (Hijri, the Arabic New Year) to compensate by producing many birds but was pleasantly surprised by what I encountered. Failed to nail the warblers mind that I often saw other than Desert; once disturbed they drifted out of reach as the the wind carried them off into the murky distance. The best surprise came on Sunday, the dust levels had increased dramatically even though the wind had died down considerably with the first decent bird I encountered on a creep around the shore of Busaiteen - an Arctic Skua - a Lifer for me. An event always bound to make one's day - a rather ragged individual however a 1st yr into 2nd winter individual which wouldn't stay still. I finally after an hour or so got close enough for three rather static shots as it investigated the contents of a plastic bag but that was it, the sound of the camera was enough; up and away back out to sea, it's distinct profile quickly disappearing into the distance.

Arctic Skua
Arctic Skua

Desert Warbler
Desert Warbler

Rock Thrush - a good and sizeable passage
Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush

Isabelline Wheatear - so many they are hard to count
Isabelline Wheatear

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Collared Pratincole
Pratincole

Pratincole

Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Ortolan Bunting
Ortolan Bunting

Ortolan Bunting

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Bar-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Permalink

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