Archives for: 2017

2017-08-25

The good the bad and anything else that I saw this Flaming hot August

Permalink 23:00:55, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The Weather was awful Hot and humid throughout August - nothing more to add other than I survived
Obs in no particular order just browse and enjoy

Egyptian Nightjar
Egyptian Nightjar

Egyptian Nightjar

Egyptian Nightjar

Egyptian Nightjar

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Curlew and Broad-billed Sandpipers
Curlew and Broad-billed Sandpipers

Clamorous Warbler
Clamorous Warbler

Clamorous Warbler

Greenshank
Greenshank

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Little Bittern

Little Bittern

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Little Stint
Little Stint

Little Stint

Collared Pratincole
Collared Pratincole

Ruff
Ruff

Ruff

Ruff and Green Sandpiper
Ruff and Green Sandpiper

Ruff and Green Sandpiper

Waders
Waders

Lesser Crested Tern
Lesser Crested Tern

Redshank
Redshank

Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper

Gull-billed Tern
Gull-billed Tern

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Kentish Plover

Terek Sand Piper
Terek Sand Piper

White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern

Permalink

2017-07-29

A busy end to the month

Permalink 16:22:56, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Purple was the order of the last week of the month down at Askar marsh with the discovery of a family group of 4 Purple Gullenule 2 adults 2 Juveniles - the species has suddenly gone from vagrant status to breeding resident with other birds being seen at Tubli mangroves and Arad bay it seems likely the species will be able to establish itself permanently here.


Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Elsewhere in the gardens some local late spring early summer breeding species were out and about often with young

Clamorous Reed Warbler and young
Clamorous Reed Warbler

Clamorous Reed Warbler

Clamorous Reed Warbler

Clamorous Reed Warbler

Rufous Bush-chat and young
Rufous Bush-chat

Rufous Bush-chat

Rufous Bush-chat

Rufous Bush-chat

Rufous Bush-chat

Rufous Bush-chat

Rufous Bush-chat

Rufous Bush-chat

Rufous Bush-chat

Coot a pair in residence at Buhair breeding - possible
Coot

Great Grey Shrike Southern
Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Southern Red Bishop always nice to see a few around Adhari - a site condemned to destruction
Southern Red Bishop

On the shore a few new species to report moving in
Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwits
Bar-tailed Godwits

Broad-billed Sandpiper a lonesome single more will follow very soon
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper more and more arriving
Curlew Sandpiper

Flamingo
Flamingo

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Gull-billed Tern
Gull-billed Tern

Little Stint huge increase in numbers
Little Stint

Family Oyster Catchers
Family Oyster Catchers

Non breeding summering birds being joined by birds having completed their breeding somewhere east and north of here
Slender-billed Gull

Squacco Heron blue is the new orange
Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron

Permalink

2017-07-19

waders the early returns

Permalink 01:21:20, Categories: Observation by Howard  

It might surprise some people when they realize that our migrant waders are here more than where ever it is they breed - many don't depart until late April early May yet some species are back by as early as June while July sees the flood gates open. August will see even more arrive.

Common Sand Piper
Common Sand Piper

Bar-tailed Godwits
Bar-tailed Godwits

Curlew
Curlew

Curlew

Curlew

Curlew

Curlew and Redshanks
Curlew and Redshanks

Redshank
Redshank

Redshank

Redshank

Redshank

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper with Little Stint
Curlew Sandpiper with Little Stint

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Green Shank and Sand Plover
GreenShank and Plover

GreenShank

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper and Redshank
Terek SP and Redshank

Tubli at Dusk
Tubli at Dusk

Turnstone
Turnstone

Turnstone

Whimbel
Whimbrel

Mixed Waders
Mixed Waders

Mixed Waders

Mixed Waders

Permalink

2017-07-16

To continue guess what its hotter than last week

Permalink 22:28:51, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Striated Heron well this species was a complete surprise for the middle of July - we have so few records its barely out of vagrant status yet here we have in Tubli a bird? and it could well be more turning up. Is this indicative of breeding, an extension of range further north or both - only time and further clear observation will settle that point.

Striated Heron
Striated Heron

Black-winged Stilts
Blav

Blav

Little Grebe at speed running on water
Little Grebe at speed running on water
Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Kentish Plover

Kentish Plover

Kentish Plover

Kentish Plover

Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Little Tern
Little Tern

Black Crowned Night Heron
Black Crowned Night Heron

Black Crowned Night Heron

Black Crowned Night Heron

Black Crowned Night Heron

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron

Northern Cormorants - is this indicative of breeding
Northern Cormorants

Northern Cormorants

Crested Lark
Crested Lark

Sparrow
Sparrow

Mynah
Mynah

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

Western Reef Heron

Western Reef Heron

Western Reef Heron

Western Reef Heron

Permalink

2017-07-09

Seasonally its hot and humid but this hasn't stopped migrants returning

Permalink 21:58:23, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The summer is far too long here for us humans the weather, well starting the end of May high temperatures kick in, then as July moves through August it just gets hotter and hotter and the humidity rises and often stays around 100% for days on end. Early September if we are lucky it will break and the place gets habitable again but its a long wait until then.

However for many species the summer is the time for breeding, a time when it requires a miracle for it to rain, thus for many Southern Terns species all ground breeders they choose to enter the Gulf during this period so as to escape the Indian Monsoon and breed alongside our hardy resident species.

Bridled Tern
Bridled Tern

Bridled Tern

more to come I hope

Lesser Crested Tern
Lesser Crested Tern

Lesser Crested Tern

Lesser Crested Tern

Lesser Crested Tern

Lesser Crested Tern

Lesser Crested Tern

Lesser Crested Tern

Saunders's Tern
Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern

White Cheeked Tern
White Cheeked Tern

White Cheeked Tern

White Cheeked Tern

White Cheeked Tern

White Cheeked Tern

White Cheeked Tern

White Cheeked Tern

White-cheeked Tern Chick

White-cheeked Tern Chick

White-cheeked Tern Chick

White-cheeked Tern Chick

White-cheeked Tern Chick

White-cheeked Tern Chick

White-cheeked Tern Chick

White-cheeked Tern Chick

Permalink

2017-05-27

Hot but May was one hell of month for Birding - Ramadan Kareem to all

Permalink 17:11:39, Categories: Observation by Howard  

May is coming to an end as Ramadan starts and although temperatures have soared the birds this month photographically speaking have not disappointed. A pile of unusual records which went along with some great opportunities to get close up and personal. Mind you "close up" is a relative term - for the four Crab Plovers off Busaiteen less than a 100 mtrs was close whereas for the Wrynecks its was a question of backing away. The Red backed Shrike always difficult to get to grip with were overwhelming in numbers so we were often spoilt for choice. The only disappointment were the lack of warbler pics, they were glimpsed but seldom gave up a chance to be photographed.

Crab Plover a long wait for the tide and the birds was required here
Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Crab Plover

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Lesser Grey Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike

Lesser Grey Shrike

Red-backed Shrike
Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Whinchat
Whinchat

Wryneck
Wryneck

Wryneck

Wryneck

Permalink

2017-05-14

Summer has arrived with a vengence

Permalink 06:33:46, Categories: Observation by Howard  

I start with a picture unrelated to birds but it is of one of my favourite Bahrain residents the Spiny Tailed Lizard (Dabb Lizard) - they are vegetarian and harmless - this chaps expression sums up for me the change in the weather - it ain't half Hot Mum


Dubb Lizard

Now the Birds -
Lesser Grey Shrike never many but they are stunners
Lesser Grey Shrike

Red-backed Shrike numbers increase
Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Isabelline Shrike still quite a few about
Isabelline Shrike

Purple Swamphen two put in an appearance at Alba/Askar Marsh
Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

Spotted Crake
Spotted Crake

Little Stint
Little Stint

Little Stint

Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Little Bittern

Little Grebe a good breeding year thus far
Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Kentish Plover Chick - they are everywhere
Kentish Plover Chick

Kentish Plover Chick

Kentish Plover Chick

Black-Winged Stilt Chick
Black-Winged Stilt Chick

Moorhen Chick
Moorhen Chick

Clamorous Warbler have successfully colonised our restricted wetlands
Clamorous Warbler

Bee-eater a really disappointing year for obs
Bee-eater

Little Tern
Little Tern

Black-crowned Night Heron
Night Heron

Night Heron

Night Heron

Palm Doves
Palm Doves

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Rock Thrush
Rock Thrush

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Socotra Cormorant
Socotra Cormorant

Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

Black-headed Gull
Black-headed Gull

Warbler NOT POSITIVELY identified too big too colourful for Willow but only other possibility is a Wood Warbler
Warbler

Permalink

2017-04-29

April the hottest since 1902 weather records show

Permalink 17:57:28, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The weather this last month has got its own back with unseasonable highs after the extremely wet and cool spring; I recorded 48c plus once this month according to my own personal weather sensor (my telephone) - mid 30c are normal for this time of the year. However surprisingly there are still quite a few migrants passing at local green wet spots while in contrast the shore has become bit of a ghost town other than for the odd lone wader and the locally breeding Terns, Herons and Egrets. For these local breeders it is more a place of refuge away from tending active nests. Things will start to get interesting on the shore again once fledged young join these adults. Surprisingly also some waders will also by then have started to return.

However in the meantime .......... Inland it is permanent water that is currently the key to finding birds be it from a simple drip line on a vegetable plot, a drainage ditch or to the environs of one of our ponds in our limited and decreasing wetland areas.

As a consequence on my last few field trips out I have ignored many of our better known wintering hot spots instead favoring those with water that I know will produce locally breeding or late migrant birds. Have I missed stuff as a consequence, probably yes.

Starting with a species that I have not seen since 1992

Black-winged Pratincole
Black-winged  Pratincole

Collared Pratincole the most frequently seen
Collared Pratincole

Having seen the two species in quick succession it was possible to make a photo composite for comparative purposes always useful in these circumstance as it becomes immediately clear just how much the two species vary in structure alone. Relative scale had to be guessed but was based on maintaining the eye level alignments and that of the bottom of the breast and junction of the leg.

Black-winged left and Collared Pratincole right
Black-winged and Collared Pratincoles

Cream-coloured Couser
Cream-coloured Couser

Cream-coloured Couser

Cream-coloured Couser

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Wood Sandpiper in fact one of many seen - a species that has been extremely common this year
Wood Sandpiper

Upchers Warbler
Upchers Warbler

Turtle Dove
Turtle Dove

Temminck's Stint
Temminck's Stint

Temminck's Stint

Roller
Roller

Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush
Rock Thrush

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Northern Cormorant
Northern Cormorant

Permalink

2017-04-24

Busy times

Permalink 15:51:46, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Just back from Egypt, no time to bird unfortunately just a brief visit to the Pyramids and a few walks along the Nile in Cairo however with that and the visit preparations out the way I now have time to update my web site - a factor that really does determine when and how often I can do this.


Wryneck
Wryneck

Wryneck

Wryneck

Wryneck

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Whinchat
Whinchat

Waterpipit
Waterpipit

vittata a Pied Wheatear
vittata Pied Wheatear

vittata Pied Wheatear

vittata Pied Wheatear

Turnstone
Turnstone

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Redshank
Redshank

Black-eared Kite
Black-eared Kite

Black-eared Kite

Black-eared Kite

Black-eared Kite

Socotra Cormorant
Socotra Cormorant

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Alaskan or Siberian - Northern Wheatear
Alaskan or Siberian - Northern Wheatear

Masked Shrike
Masked Shrike

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Great White Egret
Great White Egret

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt

Black-winged Stilt

Little Grebe nesting
Little Grebe nesting

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Northern Cormorant
Northern Cormorant

Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Dunlin
Dunlin

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Gull-billed Tern
Gull-billed Tern

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover nest

Kentish Plover Chick

Little Tern
Little Tern

Permalink

2017-03-27

Time to finally nup date the page

Permalink 22:04:23, Categories: Observation by Howard, Admin - Howard King  

The last few weeks work and pleasure have gone into overload only now do I have time to up date the site. The weather has been the winner this month regardless - to sum up its been cold wet and worse still no change in access it remains - sticky icky on the tracks.


Durian Redstart
Durian Redstart

Durian Redstart

Durian Redstart

Durian Redstart

Durian Redstart

Black-eared Wheatear - not the best picture but interesting plumage
Black-eared Wheatear

Bluethroat
Blue-throat

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Coot - only a few left now
Coot

Desert Warbler as seen in town
Desert Warbler

Palm Dove and Masked Shrike
Palm Dove and Masked Shrike

Palm Dove and Masked Shrike

Houbara Bustard
Houbara Bustard

Houbara Bustard

Hypocolius probably the last until they return in October

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Isabelline Shrike - very high numbers this year
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Masked Shrike
Masked Shrike

Masked Shrike

Masked Shrike

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pintailed Snipe identified by the facial markings
Pintailed Snipe

Pintailed Snipe

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Stonechat
Stonechat

Stonechat

Redbacked Shrike
Redbacked Shrike

Redbacked Shrike

Yellow Wagtails
Yellow Wagtails

Yellow Wagtails

Yellow Wagtails

Yellow Wagtails

Willow or Chiffchaff - my vote Willow
WARBLER

Saunders's Tern
Saunders's Tern

Saunders's Tern

Rock Thrush
Rock Thrush

Permalink

2017-03-26

The hunting technique of an Isabelline Shrike

Permalink 17:37:11, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Some days you see stuff you just cant believe actually happened worse still when you tell somebody they simply say "Oh really"? But and it is a big but, occasionally an event happens right in front of your eyes. The Gods are smiling, you have the camera already, it's pointed in the right direction. CLICK CLICK - So it was this occasion Lucky well yes maybe but the thing was I was there and given the weather I could so easily have stayed in bed. The day was the 10th of March location Buri; 14 seconds and 17 frames later is all over that was need to record what follows -



The hunting technique of an Isabelline Shrike

Ornithologically speaking the event that has stirred up most interest on my twitter feed these last few weeks was my photographic capture of the attempted predation of a Northern Wheatear by a Isabelline Shrike. An attempted ‘kill’ that only failed when the Shrike was momentarily distracted by the passage of a Marsh Harrier overhead and the Wheatear managed to escape, to wriggle free from the Shrikes clutches.

predatory Isabelline shrike

I was zeroing in on the Northern Wheatear when the attack happened, I should point out I was still in my car as the bird was on my side of a track in a field of okra. It was, as is usual in these encounters, staying just ahead of me, moving from bush to bush as I edged forward; distance wise, always the wrong side of too far for that classic close up photograph. Persistence and patience is as always the key, the Wheatear finally dropped to the ground to feed on some bug so I angled the car across the track to get a decent shot. Camera already out the window luckily for me, just as I had focused the Shrike struck. I had at that point not noticed the presence of the Isabelline Shrike myself; on reflection I don’t think the Wheatear had either.

predatory Isabelline shrike

The attack was incredibly fast; it came as if from nowhere. The Shrike struck from the rear landing on the Wheatears back. I just watched clicked away trying to keep the scuffling birds in focus, the car still in gear slowly angling closer by the microsecond. By the time the Wheatear had escaped and disappeared into the depths of the okra and the Shrike had moved to a distant fence line, I was left thinking ‘what the…’ not too certain what I had just witnessed however I did have a good number of usable frames on my camera in a time frame of only 14 seconds. Which on review turned out to be excluding the also-rans, 17 clear, reasonably focused images, which were much better than I dared hoped for, given the circumstance.

predatory Isabelline shrike

I only casually glanced through the images in the field too many other birds a calling to spend too long pondering what was, or what might have been. It was only when I got home and uploaded them to my big apple that the wealth of information and detail of the manner of the attempted ‘Kill” clearly visible on the images became apparent.

predatory Isabelline shrike

So how does a Shrike “Kill” or should we ask how does such a small predatory species take down another bird virtually its own size. On this occasion the key to the Shrikes’ strike was the use of its feet combined with its natural speed, stealth and strength.

predatory Isabelline shrike

To summarize – an extremely fast attack from the rear onto the victims back enabling the Shrike to grab the victim high up on both legs all in the same movement. Clamped onto the femur, the Shrike is then able to spread-eagle the legs causing the victim to collapse to the ground in an instant. With the victim pinned to the floor the Shrike is perfected placed then to attack the neck and throat as they became openly exposed as the victim instinctively turns its head to face and fend of the attacker.

predatory Isabelline shrike

Had the Marsh Harrier not passed over I am certain the outcome would have been in favour of the Shrike and my series of snaps would have run to a few but bloody dozen more.

predatory Isabelline shrike

Permalink

2017-03-04

A weekend of contrasts weather wise

Permalink 16:10:36, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Friday was a pleasant day no matter which way you look back on it, bright sunny and reasonably calm whereas Saturday was a complete opposite blustery with tremendous thunderstorms, the lightning and rain were at times spectacular.

Bird wise not a lot to report - some early Red-throated Thrush had led me last week to a personal first, a female Black-throated. This week I saw several males in the same area indicating a small influx as has been the case with this species in the past. Some close misses with the camera though had remained the story as earlier in the week - seen observed and no clicks unfortunately as well for a host of migrants and wintering species. But there were some notable exceptions as follows

Crested Honey Buzzard first static images for me of this species
Crested Honey Buzzard

Crested Honey Buzzard

Crested Honey Buzzard

Crested Honey Buzzard

Caspian Plover - turning up in same area of Buri as in past years - they just love manure heaps
Caspian Plover

Sociable Plover a chance encounter while driving between Jasra and Hamalah
Sociable Plover

Hypocolius still a lot around here taking cover from the rain but wont be long now however before their departure
Hypocolius

Isabelline but a very Brown looking shrike - the white patches are not however consistent with Brown so is it a hybrid ?? or just a dark individual
Isabelline or brown shrike

Isabelline Wheatear taking in and enjoying the early morning rays
Isabelline Wheatear

Great Black-headed Gull an unexpected overhead visitor while en route to Jarada Island
Great Black-headed Gull

Channel Marker for entrance to Bahrain deep water sea port with Lesser Created Terns and a pale looking large Gull
Channel Marker

Jarada Island a disappointing Friday afternoon trip bird wise it was full of people
Jerada

Jerada

Lesser White-throat most probably Desert
Lesser White-throat

Lesser White-throat

Lesser White-throat

Meneteries Warbler this one turned up in my garden in Manama
Meneteries Warbler

Nightingale
Nightingale

Pied Wheatear now the most frequently seen Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Prina or Graceful Warbler
Prina Graceful Warbler

Red-tailed Wheatear - extremely territorial seems to be only tolerant of Mournings
Red-tailed Wheatear

Red-tailed Wheatear

Red-tailed Wheatear

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush enjoying the scenery as the desert blooms after these spring rains
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush

A Thrush SEEN feeding on a road side verge at Amwaj Islands resort but is it Song or is it Thistle
Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

Starling another obs from the garden this last week
Starling

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

Woodchat Shrike - a sizable passage again this year
Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Redshank - just a high tide huddle off
Redshank

Kingfisher enjoying the sea side in front of Arad Fort
Kingfisher

Dunlin
Dunlin

Permalink

2017-02-25

Windy but now dry but the good thing is migrants are on the move

Permalink 18:05:18, Categories: Observation by Howard  

This weekend was really frustrating, the weather although drafty was OK and there was at least plenty to photograph with the migration really beginning to take hold but and it was a big but, nothing really wanted to play ball. If it could move before the final click it did. Working around driving hazards, wet and waterlogged ground and access ways brought the usually results a sticky end as expected but it was the nature of many an encounter that was odd. It appeared that the birds had other things on there minds unfortunately having a snapshot taken wasn't one of them.

Black-eared Wheatear - female, a rather odd encounter just kept the same aspect to me all the time
Black-eared Wheatear

Blue Rock Thrush remain just the wrong side of close for a good picture
Blue Rock Thrush

Chiffchaff - fast feeders that wiz through a bush or tree approach not the problem - find focus and click speeds were
Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

\Chiffchaff

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Hypocolius found a nice sized flock close to two hundred in a totally inaccessible site so I didnt spend much time watching after the generally bins count was done
Hypocolius

Ruff
Ruff

Stonechat as confiding as ever but about to depart after wintering
Stonechat

Stonechat

Thrush large numbers around but always elusive
Thrush

NOT a Red Throated Robin as I had guessed given its odd appearance turns out this is Black-throated Thrush female It was really hard work to get anywhere close to this bird but not upset I then got the ID wrong - IN FACT QUITE THE CONTRARY I'm really happy with the mistake as this turns out to be first for me
My thanks to people on my Twitter feed and to Gavin Farnell over in Qatar still there are over a dozens real Red throated around in Buri hopefully they will remain til next w/e
White-throated Robin

Black throated Thrush

Black throated Thrush

Black throated Thrush

The frustrates - included Corn and Ortalan Bunting, Red-throated, meadow and tree Pipits, Greater and Lesser Larks plus many warblers seen rather often glimpsed

Permalink

2017-02-19

After the cold snap it rained, rained and rained

Permalink 16:52:15, Categories: Observation by Howard  

After the cold snap it rained, rained and rained and now its flood flood flood with a bit of wind from lord knows where for good measure - Climate change, personally I have no idea but things are sure as hell messed up!!

The shore count for birds remains much the same species wise but the number has increased rapidly resulting in a visual spectacular on a high tide when huge flocks can be seen often species by species stood out in any quiet corner.

Flamingo huge numbers wintering this year - the bad weather brings many in close range for a decent individual photograph
Flamingo

Flamingo

Curlew
Curlew

Dunlin probably the most numerous of all waders at the moment
Dunlin

Great Black-headed Gull a solitary bird usually this one was found in Busaiteen
Great Black-headed Gull

Great Black-headed Gull

Greater Sandplover
Greater Sandplover

Greater Sandplover

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Grey Plover

large White headed Gull but which species - do the bookks help well not really have a guess
large White headed Gull

large White headed Gull

large White headed Gull

Kentish Plover normally busy breeding at this time but the cold and wet has delayed the start
Kentish Plover

Kentish Plover

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Marsh Sandpiper a rather distant bird
Marsh Sandpiper

Teal
Teal

Teal

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper

Hamalah after the rain
Hamalah after the rain

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

House Sparrow a rather pale individual
House Sparrow

Coot
Coot

Desert Lark out but directly under the sun
Desert Lark

Clamorous Reed Warbler singing its heart out
Clamorous Reed Warbler

Block Rock Thrush
Block Rock Thrush

Block Rock Thrush

Block Rock Thrush

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Pied Wheatear the seasons first starting to pass in good numbers
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush
Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush

Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush

Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush

Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush

Permalink

2017-02-04

COLD SNAP kicks in worst for 50yrs

Permalink 19:57:20, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The weather remains the big talking point here this week - with strong winds and temperatures dropping to around 5 or 6c add a wind chill factor of many more, its cold - no wonder that some animals and birds species have become difficult to find.

Grey Hypocolius -- a solitary bird found one afternoon was a really lucky encounter and a great photographic opportunity
Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Great Grey Shrike found in the same area as the Hypocolius in Jasra
Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Black Redstart - as previously recorded but continues to show well
Black Redstart

Stonechat - found these two keeping company at Adhari
Stonechat

Stonechat

Siberian Stonechat - always difficult to separate given the winter plumage of many
Siberian Stonechat

Spanish Sparrows just a few from the flock at Hamalah
Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

Bluethroat remain illusive
Bluethroat

Grey Francolin always around and easy to snap
Grey Francolin

Grey Heron are normally difficult to approach - being huddled down out of the wind made the difference
Grey Heron

Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

Cormorant
Cormorant

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Prinia or Graceful Warbler
Prinia

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Kestrel
Kestrel

Shoveller
Shoveller

Shoveller

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

All the photos that follow were taken at Adhari soon to be unnecessarily developed - lost as a wildlife sanctuary
such stupidity should never have been allowed
Greed and lack of appreciation from environmental agencies to Land owner
of what could be are to blame

Mongoose always nice to see
Mongoose

Mongoose

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Little Bittern
Little Bittern

Little Bittern

Black-crowned Night Heron
Night Heron

Night Heron

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron

Permalink

2017-01-29

windy weather continues as expectations grow for migrant arrival

Permalink 17:16:06, Categories: Observation by Howard  

The windy weather continues almost unabated but with SSE winds assisting bird movement expectations for incoming species remains high however as expectations grow for migrant arrivals some wintering species such as the Hypocolius are just as likely to get up and move on.


Pied Kingfisher at Tubli mangrove at the sewage outfall - has been around sometime but this was the first time I managed to connect
Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Socotra Cormorant juvenile - so tame it allowed the close approach by one enthusiastic admirer who shared with it a packet of crisps -
when the young lady left so did the bird - the whole thing was a remarkable episode to witness - such trust - the picture was taken with the kind permission of the young ladies parents who were watching close by.
Socotra Cormorant

Northern Cormorant in complete contrast to local resident Socotra - the scourge of fish ponds and traps a Northern Cormorant (sinensis)
having a bad hair day
Northern Cormorant

Curlew this time some from the shore
Curlew

Greater Sand Plover these all showing a lot of colour so early in the breeding cycle - Climate Change??
Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Gull-billed Terns - one of my favourite species
Gull-billed Terns

Record shots of one of two Kingfishers seen at Tubli outfall
Kingfisher

Kingfisher

Redshank
Redshank

Redshank

Bartailed Godwit
Bartailed Godwit

Broad-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Chiffchaff an Asian race which one hard to tell with certainty
Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Black Redstart (rufiventris)
Black Redstart

Black Redstart

Black Redstart

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Permalink

2017-01-22

Still warm but weather today awful

Permalink 05:53:44, Categories: Observation by Howard  

Today felt cold, was hazy and dank yet temperature were still over 18c. However there was not that much around either and that which was played hard to get. It was just as well I had taken some pics in the week otherwise might not had enough pics to make the entry worthwhile. Having spent Christmas and New year in the UK tied to house and home, the urge to get out was well - some might say obsessive.

Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier

Coot a winter visitor that can be hard to find
Coot

Coot

Curlew these look so different to those found on the shore and are some of the 14 now on the fields at Hamalah
Curlew

Curlew

Curlew

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear

Egrets at the mangrove Cattle and Little Egret share a roost with...
Egrets

Egrets

Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron

Flamingo
Flamingo

Flamingo

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Namaqua Dove
Namaqua Dove

Namaqua Dove

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Crested Lark
Crested Lark

Siberian Stonechat
Siberian Stonechat

Females Stonechat are always difficult to separate into species
Stonechat

Stonechat

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

Skylark
Skylark

Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Permalink

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