24 Jul 2012

Another Egyptian Nightjar - Sabkhat Al Fasl

A trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl proved quite successful with the finding of another Egyptian Nightjar, this time at the other side of the site under a small Tamarisk bush on the edge of the now dry sabkha area. Birds are now regular here and I have seen one on the last three weekends even though it is only July. August has been the best month for the species at this site with only one July record previously last year.
Egyptian Nightjar

Other birds seen included quite a number of waders. Numbers have increased significantly in the last week with only a single Little Stint last week and 200+ this week. Eight Little Ringed Plovers, two Common Greenshanks, 30+ Curlew Sandpipers (some in almost full breeding plumage), one Common Ringed Plover, three Greater Sand Plovers, one Ruff and 300+ Kentish Plovers.  The numbers of Slender-billed Gulls has increased significantly also with over 200 now present. In amonst them was a single adult large white-headed gull whihc was distant but due to the very early timing of this sighting was almost certainly a Steppe Gull.
Curlew Sandpiper

Slender-billed Gull

Other interesting birds included three Clamorous Reed Warblers, two Namaqua Doves, six Squacco Herons, one Little Egret, 70+ Indian Reef Herons and nine Purple Swamphens. An Upcher's Warbler was my first record of this species for the site and look a little out of place in the scrub and reeds. Five Purple Swamphens were also seen at Khafra Marsh on the way home, which is the new breeding site we found last year. Although no young birds were seen it is obvious this site has now been colonised by the species. The first five returning Yellow Wagtails of the autumn, including one male feldegg Black-headed Wagtail, were present on the mud at the edge of the main scrape.

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