19 Aug 2011

Common Ringed Plover & Common Migrants - Sabkhat Al Fasl

As it was the start of the weekend out here yesterday so we went to Sabkhat Al Fasl as normal. Started early and one of the first birds we saw a Great Reed Warbler showing well in the reed edges where I could see the strong Thrush looking bill and long primary projection. This was a normal type bird, not one of the greyer eastern zarudnyi type birds that occur on passage in this region. I saw quite a few of these in the spring but only of the eastern type birds. A Common Kingfisher was seen very briefly that would have been a new bird for Saudi Arabia for me but the views were too brief to include it. There are quite a few migrants around today with twenty Barn Swallow, three Sand Martin, three Yellow Wagtail, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Egyptian Nightjar (in a different location to where we have seen then here before) and Isabelline Wheatear. Wader numbers were well down on what we have seen recently but a Pied Avocet was only the second time I had seen the species here and eight Common Ringed Plover were a new species for the site for me. Other good birds included Purple Swamphen, four Caspian Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Little Tern, two Eurasian Hoopoe and five Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin. We also saw the second calendar year Greater Spotted Eagle perched and in flight and a couple of poor quality flight shots I got of it showed it was the same bird as seen in July at the same site indicating this bird is summering in Saudi Arabia.
 Common Ringed Plover
 Common Ringed Plover
 Caspian Tern
 Little Stint
 Purple Swamphen
  Purple Swamphen
 Purple Swamphen

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