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.
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.
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
Curlew this time some from the shore
Greater Sand Plover these all showing a lot of colour so early in the breeding cycle - Climate Change??
Gull-billed Terns - one of my favourite species
Record shots of one of two Kingfishers seen at Tubli outfall
Chiffchaff an Asian race which one hard to tell with certainty
Black Redstart (rufiventris)
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.
Coot a winter visitor that can be hard to find
Curlew these look so different to those found on the shore and are some of the 14 now on the fields at Hamalah
Egrets at the mangrove Cattle and Little Egret share a roost with...
Black-crowned Night Heron
Females Stonechat are always difficult to separate into species
Lesser Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover
December is always a busy month at work so any birding opportunities are few however I did manage a few trips out. Gratefully now back in the UK for Christmas with time to spare to put up the few pics I took. PICS in no particular order but to start what I think is my best photo of the month
Kestrel two seen one quite tame
Really was too late for these chaps as a Marsh with the Pallid Harrier depart
Paired Hoopoe - breeding season can't be far away
Just them Northern/Siberian Gulls again so many any gull freaks heaven
Curlew - eight now at Hamalah
The two Barred Warblers making use of my garden to forage in the mornings, are still present
Stonechat all getting easier to photograph
Skylark a plenty - about 1 in 20 are likely to be Oriental problem is getting one in the open to be certain
Since I had some business to attend to, down south on Thursday I was able to bird my journey back into town. This proved to be a more civilized way to beat the late afternoon traffic jams particularly those caused by the huge road improvements current along a large section of the eastern arterial route south, my way home. It was a good way to start the weekend.
Huge numbers of Gulls of all species can currently be found along the entire eastern shore from Jaw to Askar along with the usual cast of waders. There were no surprises here - being just offshore from our dump this is standard fare for this time of the year. Was surprised however to find a few Great Black-headed gulls mixed in but they were too distant to even point the camera at, an opportunity will present itself another day for those birds I am sure. The man-made marsh in front of the desalination plant at Ras Abu Jarjur is a great space for many water dependent species and so it proved for me on that visit. Not so much for species seen but for the photographic opportunities it offered but only if one is prepared to sit and wait. I had seen a couple of Kingfishers flitting around on arrival so I decided to just wait adjacent to a perch they left. 47 mins later one, a female returned to pose for me. After a short while however a Clamorous Reed Warbler decided he wanted the same space. The interaction between the two species was interesting neither would give way until in frustration the Kingfisher gave up and flew to a less productive fishing perch around the corner.
Kingfisher interacts with a Clamorous Reed Warbler
Kingfisher gives up and moves on
Clamorous Reed Warbler the victor
Black-headed Gulls by the beach full south of Askar
Eastern European - Siberian Gulls filled any vacant spaces not filled by the Black-headed gulls
Great White Egret
one of our wintering Marsh Harriers spent a unfruitful half hour or so hunting the marsh
Moorhen always around always watching
Pair of Palm or more properly Laughing Doves
Grey Heron so many they are hard to ignore
always around any brackish margins Temmincks Stint
Caspian Tern currently breeding but get to close to a nest they can be rather aggressive otherwise will fly above to check you out
Which bring me onto Friday - Had intended an early start but got way-layed after finding two young local photographers at Adhari. I spent far too long chatting to get the early birds and ended up only with another stone chat, no regrets however loved their enthusiasm will take them out next weekend with me. I decided to pop in to the outfall at Ras Tubli and that proved so much better than anticipated even though the tide was out. It is one of those sites that a 3/4 tide is best.
At Tubli several Garganey were easily found but surprisingly that day no Teal with them or Mallard for that matter
One of many Shoveller they will venture way out into the open bay
Squacco Heron foun d along the back ditch, a fresh water drain outfall is always an interesting to look
Was watching this Western Reef Herons heron when he disturbed the bird of the weekend
The over zealous charging about antics of the Western Reef thankfully were too much for the tiny in comparison Striated Heron to bare
I hadn't noticed the Striated Heron crouched very low and hardly moving in its favoured fishing mode - this is probably only the 6th record for Bahrain. Although now having watched one for several hours, I know only too well now how easy it is to overlook or miss the species entirely.
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