9 Jul 2012

White-cheeked Terns – Abu Ali Island

After birding Sabkhat Al Fasl I went to Abu Ali Island again. Even though it was still very windy, I hoped that I may relocate the Black Kites again, but I had no luck despite extensive searching. I then went down to the large pool at the far end of the island that has a sand bar where White-cheeked Terns have bred this year. I saw many adults and now some of the young are big enough to fly and have made it off the island to the edge of the pool. The strong wind was keeping the birds grounded most of the time, but one or two youngsters were flying but finding it very difficult in the wind.
White-cheeked Tern (juvenile)
White-cheeked Tern (juvenile)
White-cheeked Tern (adult)

Other birds seen on the pond included 50+ Greater Flamingos, one Greater Sand Plover, one Whimbrel, five Indian Reef Herons and one Great Crested Grebes. As the tide was in I had a look along the bits of shore I could see and tried to find some waders as 120 Crab Plovers have been seen at this site previously. I only saw one Eurasian Oystercatcher but hundreds more White-cheeked Terns were resting on the sand out of the wind.
Greater Flamingo
Indian Reef Heron (white phase)


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