Category: Observation by Howard

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

2018-01-31

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

2017-12-31

December a short month for Observation

Permalink 16:45:53, Categories: Observation by Howard  

With Christmas and then the New Year- December is alsways a short month and also with January normorally fairly quiet but for a few the appearance of some Calandra Larks at Hamalah changed all that. With a single Observation in 1982 it was really nice to be able to get to grips with this species with a camera in Hand. Found in a mixed flock of hundreds of other larks conataining a few Bimaculated but mostly Skylarks it was hard work sifting through them to spot our wayward intoloper.


Calandra Lark
Calandra Lark

Calandra Lark

At Ras Tubli the Staiated Heron now resident showed briefly at the back of the mangrove at the same spot where the juvenile was last seen
Stiated Heron

Stiated Heron

White-crowned Black Wheatear winter on the Jebel wonder if its white cap will develope before it leaves
 White-crowned Black Wheatear

Steppe Buzzard on the Jebel Dakhan proved a delight
Steppe Buzzard

Steppe Buzzard

Steppe Buzzard

Starling a large wintering flock near the Refinery never settled unfortunately for a photo session
Starling

Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Tufted Duck looking odd in eclipse plumage here with a Mallard
Tufted Duck

expected but interesting

Red-throated Pipit
Red-throated Pipit

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Ruff
Ruff

Snipe
Snipe

Osprey
Osprey

Marsh Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper

Marsh Sandpiper and Red Shank in background
Marsh Sandpiper and Redshank

Lapwing
Lapwing

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Great White Egret
Great White Egret

Greenshank
Greenshank

Permalink

2017-11-30

November as always an Interesting Month

Permalink 17:41:34, Categories: Observation by Howard  

November first up the bird of the month an adult White-tailed Plover


White-tailed Plover
White-tailed Plover

White-tailed Plover

nice to be able to compare with the Juvenile seen previously

White-tailed Plover

Desert Warbler
Desert Warbler

Red-tailed Wheatear
Red-tailed Wheatear

White-crowned Wheatear
White-crowned Wheatear

Siloette - a Blue Rock Thrush
Blue Rock Thrush

Desert Lark
Desert Lark

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Kestrel
Kestrel

Grey Hypocolius
Grey Hypocolius

Short-toed Lark
Short-toed Lark

Blue-throat
Blue-throat

Clamorous Reed Warbler
Clamorous Reed Warbler

Corn Bunting
Corn Bunting

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Water Pipit
Water Pipit]

Siberian Stonechat
Siberian Stonechat

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Mallard
Mallard

Pin-tail Duck
Pintail Duck

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule

Temmincks Stint
Temmincks Stint

Slender-billed Gulls
Slender-billed Gulls

Western Reef Heron
Western Reef Heron

I am still having a few security problems with the site - and currently working on a final solution hence the delays in posting but now playing catchup

Permalink

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