Archives for: 2018

2018-03-31

Good movement seen on the shore

Permalink 22:06:55, Categories: Observation by Howard  

March is that time of the year when the number of waders on the shore numerically starts to peak while in the gardens and desert areas its time to spend quality time looking out for the chance of a real rarity - luckily this month certainly lived up to expectations on both counts.

But to start with a reality check -

Early in the month young Ali better know on twitter as shaggy @sahggy1991 contacted me to inform me that a real rarity - a Black-winged Kite had turned up for sale in a village pet shop - together we contrived the means to acquire the bird and when done to pass it on to our friends at Tails Veterinary surgery to be chipped and checked out for subsequent re-release back to the wild. A wild single Black-winged kite had been observed across northern Bahrain from mid January through February our second or third record was this the same bird well that was hard to tell from the data presented but it certainly was a youngster and in beautiful condition. It appeared fortunately not to have been in captivity very long. For me this was a first - What a beauty - was love at first sight - I was amazed at just how small and elegant the species is and although friendly it made it known, it wanted out. Thus after its medical and a few days in isolation, well fed to ensure a successful transition back to the wild the bird was successfully released one evening in an extensive area of gardens along the west coast. Should it ever be recaptured being chipped will enable us to prove without doubt that it is indeed a wild bird and undertake a successful prosecution in the courts here.


Black-winged Kite
Black-winged Kite

Black-winged Kite

The Kite apart - the month also turned up another real rarity a male Finsch's Wheatear in Buri

Finsch's Wheatear
Finsch's Wheatear

Finsch's Wheatear

Finsch's Wheatear

Finsch's Wheatear

Finsch's Wheatear

Finsch's Wheatear

Finsch's Wheatear

Finsch's Wheatear

Finsch's Wheatear

Finsch's Wheatear

Fortunately during the period I also saw several Black-eared Wheatear always useful for making comparisons between the two species for identification but also was interesting in feeding behavior observed

Black-eared Wheatear
Black-eared Wheatear

Black-eared Wheatear

Black-eared Wheatear

As epected on a large scale Pied Wheatear always dominate the early return of wheatear by numbers alone they seem to turn up everywhere - all ages both male and female

Pied Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear

Northern Wheatear never fail to impress at this time either as the first birds through are generally bigger and more colorful than later ones

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Desert Wheatear just one of many still around
Desert Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear still numerous
Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear

Another scarcity was the Mistle Thrush seen at Buri in the same general location as the Finsch's Wheatear but it was never as obliging
Mistle Thrush
Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

A big surprise however was the White-tailed Plover that turned up at Hamalah over grass
White-tailed Plover
White-tailed Plover

White-tailed Plover

White-tailed Plover

White-tailed Plover

Woodchat Shrike good numbers this year
Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike

Cinereous Bunting two birds seen keeping company with the more frequently seen Ortolan Bunting
Cinereous bunting

Cinereous Bunting

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Collared Dove one of the many
Collared Dove

Barn Owl a pair at their nest site at the Bahrain Fort
Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Bluethroat

Bee-eater large passage mostly late evening with few seen down on the deck for good photography
Bee-eater

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Lesser Whitethroat
Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Redstart
Redstart

Redstart

Redstart

Redstart

Redstart

Leucistic Sparrow
Leucistic Sparrow

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Desert Warbler a common wintering species
Desert Warbler

Glossy Ibis - 4 of the 12 wintering around Askar Marsh area
Glossy Ibis

Now a resident breeder in my garden in Manama - one of my pair of Graceful Prinia
Graceful Prinia

Grey Francolin now also regular in my garden
Grey Francolin

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Hoopoe a now well established breeding species
Hoopoe

Hoopoe

Hoopoe

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Yellow Wagtail Fledegg
Yellow Wagtail Fledegg

Yellow Wagtail Fledegg

Yellow Wagtail Fledegg

White Wagtail one of the thousands wintering
White Wagtail

Crested Lark - remarkably resilient a locally breeding species of town and country
Crested Lark

Water Pipit just one of the many
Water Pipit

Tawny Pipit always a regular across agricultural areas and all desert fringes
Tawny Pipit

Isabelline Shrike - Durian
Isabelline Shrike

Striated Heron at the northern Tubli outfall must now be regarded as a scarce but resident breeder
Striated Heron

Striated Heron

Wood Sandpiper - wintering numbers this year have been better than in previous winters
Wood Sandpiper

Wood Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper good numbers wintering too
Green Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper a regular often in considerable numbers
Common Sandpiper

Marsh Sandpiper one of several wintering at Askar
Marsh Sandpiper

Little Ringed Plover just the one at Askar
Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

Pin-tailed Snipe at last one out in the open
Pin-tailed Snipe

Pin-tailed Snipe

Snipe
Snipe

Snipe

Cattle Egret coming into breeding plumage
Cattle Egret

Black Headed Gulls at Hafeera quarry site around the watering hole just one frame of a few of the tens of thousands at the location daily
Black Headed Gulls

Red-wattled Plover at Hafeera pool a potential breeding site
Red-wattled Plover

Kentish Plover chick
Kentish Plover chick

Kentish Plover chick

Kentish Plover chick

Kentish Plover chick

Kentish Plover chick

Kentish Plover - Dad provides shade and sanctuary
Kentish Plover
Dad
Kentish Plover
Mum
Kentish Plover

Rock Thrush
Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush

Rufous Bushchat
Rufous Bushchat

Rufous Bushchat

Just a hungry House Sparrow
Sparrow

Ruff
Ruff

Ruff

Ruff

Ruff

Curlew
Curlew

Curlew

Curlew

Purple Gallinule A breeding resident at Askar
Purple Gallinule

Redshank at Askar
Redshank

Greenshank at Askar
Greenshank

Grey heron at Askar
Grey Heron

Namaqua Dove at Hafeera having moved south to breed
Namaqua Dove

around Muharraq shore
Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Bart-tailed Godwit
Bart-tailed Godwit

Broad-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Mixed small waders
Mixed small waders

Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper

Dunlin
Dunlin

Dunlin

Dunlin

Flamingo
Flamingo

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Little Stint
Little Stint

Little Tern
Little Tern

Sanderling in among the Sand Plover
Sanderling

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper

Turnstone
Turnstone

Turnstone

Waders
Waders

Waders

Waders

Waders

Waders

Waders

Waders

Waders

Waders

Waders

Waders

Waders

Waders

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Grey Plover

Grey Plover

Grey Plover

Grey Plover

Permalink

2018-02-28

February brings an environmental disaster to Adhari Wetlands Breeding Birds

Permalink 18:51:59, Categories: Admin - Howard King  

An injury to my back kept me housebound for much of the month but it did not stop me recording the wanton Destruction of the prime breeding habit for 30 species of bird at Adhari. The importance of Adhari cannot be over emphasized. 30 breeding species is representative of nearly half the total species breeding in Bahrain, furthermore ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY NINE 159 of the 330 species occurring in Bahrain have been recorded at the site. It is with out doubt the most important single site ornithologicaly speaking in the country in terms of the diversity of species recorded.

There is not an animal on earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings, but they are communities like you...

Qur'an 6:38

Little Bittern in breeding plumage at Adhari before it was turned into a residential wildlife disaster zone - Sadly this Bittern is but one of the many breeding species previously resident at Adhari that will now have to look for a new home with the sites total destruction and the wholesale removal of all suitable breeding habit at a time coinciding precisely with the start of their breeding cycle - Thank you Municipality and your contractors for such wanton destruction - your ignorance of good management techniques of natural habitats and wildlife in Bahrain just beggars belief -
Little Bittern

Adhari ditch before clearance
Adhari ditch before clearance

Answer me this who ever is responsible "How Does this type of wholesale clearance of a prime wildlife wetland habitat at the start of the breeding cycle for the wildlife dependent on it, fit into Bahrain's declarations on SDG's" Justify your actions - your methodology - your reasoning not just to me but to the people of Bahrain.

Adhari ditch during clearance
Adhari after clearance

A ditch being cleared - a clear case of, from a mismanaged but green oasis into a sludgy hell for one pair of Night Herons, 2 pairs Moorhen, 2 pairs Squacco Heron, I pair little Bittern - All have lost nest sites just in this small section alone not to mention the White-cheeked Bulbuls, Clamorous Reed Warblers and Prinia and other marine species like terrapin displaced.
halfway to hell a from to picture

This is in my opinion, an Environmental Disaster of unprecedented proportions - Who ever sanctioned this work should be held ACCOUNTABLE along with all other agencies involved in wildlife protection and natural resources here in Bahrain - this whole episode is a National disgrace, you should be ashamed that such mismanagement is tolerated, worse still is officially sanctioned. To me this is environmental destruction by the back door, by the very people we are told daily in the local press, that CARE. After the next edition of the Bahrain Animal Production Show (Mara'ee) that will be held from March 27 to 31, what will we read in the local press? Nothing no doubt but praise, sung loudly, for these same mismanaging so-called environmental champions. Will any question marks be raised at the event or in the press reports after as to those champions success rate in the mismanagement of such a vital national resource. Will any red flags be waved to ensure that what passes for habitat protection or maintenance at Adhari doesn't happen again elsewhere. I think not. I expect that much of that which will be reported after the Mara'ee event on environmental issues and its protection would be more worthy of featuring, in fact headlining at events such as Bahrain's Comic Con 2018. The reality is far more shocking however than I have stated unfortunately, this wanton destruction of a prime and unique wetlands site is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the mismanagement of natural resources here in Bahrain. As far as I am concerned - A line has now been crossed so if my ranting have offended someone in authority GOOD - maybe we can now get some real action on these important issues - there are simply no more magic carpets left to brush the grains of truth under.

Now breeding record at Adhari Asian digger
diggers

But back to the Birds elsewhere - NONE of which where photographed at any of Bahrain so called declared wildlife reserves all where recorded that is found in unprotected Habitat including Adhari before its destruction
Think about that for a second

Askar White-tailed Plover
White-tailed Plover

Bluethroat at Adhari before destruction
Bluethroat

Spotted Crake at Adhari before destruction
Spotted Crake

Common Sandpiper at Adhari before destruction
Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Squacco Heron at Adhari before destruction
Squacco Heron

Shoveller at Adhari before destruction
Shoveller

Snipe at at Adhari before destruction
http://www.hawar-islands.com/blog/media/blogs/obs/2018/Febuary/snipe.jpg

Pied Wheatear at Adhari before destruction
Pied Wheatear

Bahrain Bay
Desert Wheatear Manama Sea front
Desert Wheatear

Hamalah Farm
Hoopoe
Hoopoe

Skylark
Skylark

Isabelline Durian Shrike
Durian Shrike

on the Jebel
Blue Rock Thrush one of two seen
Blue Rock Thrush

Namaqua Dove
Namaqua Dove

at Hafeera
Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

at Samaheej
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper

Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

Greenshank
Greenshank

Permalink

2018-01-31

January the bonus of a few rarities Part 2

Permalink 21:23:05, Categories: Observation by Howard, Admin - Howard King  

On returning from the UK my first port of call had to be the Hypocolius morning roost adjancent to Jasra Water Pumping Sation - it was pleasing to see so many - probably well over five hundred birds pass through the site between 06:30 and 08:00 THE PEAK BEING AROUND 07:00 - this will creep earlier as the time passes keeping pace with sunrise.

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Male
Hypocolius

Hypocolius

Female
Hypocolius

Close to Hamalah farm in adjacent scrub thanks to birding friends I was finally able to get up close and personal with a Great Spotted Cuckoo
Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Not a lot seen at Adhari just too much disturbance at weekends but a visit did provide closeups of a Spotted Crake and Clamorous Reed Warbler
Spotted Crake
Spotted Crake

Spotted Crake

Spotted Crake

Spotted Crake

Spotted Crake

Clamorous Reed Warbler
Clamorous Reed Warbler

and Bluethroat
Bluethroat

Bluethroat

At Hamlah Farm the problem was finding birds the site was relatively quiet and birds were often easily spooked
Richards Pipit is a species they I have been chasing for years I have seen dozens but could never get close enough for a decent phtograph well now I have and what a hind claw they have.
Richards Pipit

Richards Pipit

Richards Pipit

Richards Pipit

Richards Pipit

Richards Pipit

Richards Pipit

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Meadow Pipit

Meadow Pipit

Bluethroat female I believe
Bluethroat

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Shrike

Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Shrike" alt="Isabelline Wheatear" title="Isabelline Wheatear" />

This rather weird looking Dove was keeping company with the Collared
dove

Collared Dove
Collared Dove

Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Crested Lark
Crested Lark

Curlew
Curlew

Kestrel
Kestrel

Lapwing
Lapwing

Namaqua Dove
Namaqua Dove

Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Graceful Prinia
Graceful Prinia

Graceful Prinia

Graceful Prinia

Graceful Prinia

Skylark
Skylark

Skylark

Skylark

Skylark title="Skylark" />

Skylark

Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit

Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow

Stonechats a mix of European and Siberian types
Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

Stonechat

At the Jeble Dakhan
Desert Lark
Desert Lark

the long staying White-crowned Black Wheatear
White-crowned Black Wheatear

White-crowned Black Wheatear

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Permalink

2018-01-30

January was a busy month with the bonus of a few rarities Part 1

Permalink 19:35:38, Categories: Observation by Howard, Admin - Howard King  

After a late return from the UK the remainder of the month was really exceptional - not a lot of species around mind but what did turn up was exceptional, hence a rather long posting split into two parts


Starting at Askar Marsh
The White-tailed Plover seen in December was relocated keeping company with numerous Snipe, Sandpipers, Shanks, Stilts, Herons, Glossy Ibis and common Kingfishers
waders
White-tailed Plover
White-tailed Plover

White-tailed Plover

Snipe
Snipe

Snipe

Snipe

Green Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper

Marsh Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Kingfisher
Kingfisher

Kingfisher

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Pooping on the wing
Glossy Ibis

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Green Shank
Green Shank

Western Reef Heron now in breeding plumage
Western Reef Heron

Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron

Purple Gullinule (SwampHen)
Purple Gullinule

White Wagtail
White Wagtail

White Wagtail

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

But the bird of month or rather the species of the month observered at Askar has to be the two Pied Kingfishers that turned up in the last week of the month however intitialy it was thought there was only one

Pied Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisherr" title="Pied Kingfisher" />

Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfishers

Pied Kingfishers

Pied Kingfishers

Pied Kingfishers

Pied Kingfishers

Manama Seafront at Bahrain Bay can provide some interesting opportunities for interesting shots of fishing or roosting birds

Caspian Tern
Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

Slender-billed Gulls
Slender-billed Gull

Slender-billed Gull

Slender-billed Gull

Slender-billed Gull

Slender-billed Gull

Slender-billed Gull

Slender-billed Gull

Dunlin
Dunlin

Great Black-headed Gull
Great Black-headed Gull

Great Black-headed Gull

Steppe Gull
Gull

Gull

Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Socotra Cormorant
Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Socotra Cormorant

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Out and about at various locations
Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Little Stint
Little Stint

Little Stint

Little Stint

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover

Permalink

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