14 Jul 2012

White-winged Terns – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Another early morning trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl, as I do most weekends, resulted in a few good birds. The first bird I saw on entering the area was a Steppe Grey Shrike, which I will post details and photographs of later. Other birds seen on the way into the main water areas were two Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, one Barn Swallow and a Sand Martin. Terns were quite evident with about 40 adult Little Terns and two adult Saunder’s Terns with plenty of juvenile Little/Saunder’s Terns in their company. 68 Caspian Terns were on the main sabkha area with 30+ White-cheeked Terns with well grown juveniles. Three White-winged Terns were also present on the shallow water site with a fine adult summer just starting to moult into winter plumage.

White-winged Tern (adult summer)
White-winged Tern in flight (adult summer)
White-winged Tern in flight (adult summer)
White-winged Tern (adult winter)
White-winged Tern (adult winter)

The Egyptian Nightjar, or possibly another bird as its plumage looks different to the bird I photographed last weekend, was present in almost the same place I saw one last weekend. A few waders were about including a Common Greenshank, six Little Stints (the first returning birds of the autumn for me at this site), 15 Curlew Sandpipers, 20+ Greater Sand Plovers and 23 Pied Avocets. Six Purple Swamphens were in the reeds, but only two Clamorous Reed Warblers were seen. A single adult Greater Flamingo was looking a bit lonely and single juvenile Little Bittern was seen in flight at the other end of the site to where I saw a juvenile a couple of weeks ago.

Egyptian Nightjar
Egyptian Nightjar
Purple Swamphen

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