14 May 2013

Some late birds - Sabkhat Al Fasl

Arrival at Sabkhat Al Fasl just after first light indicated that a few migrants were present but the large numbers of the last two weeks had decreased significantly. Signs of migration were thin on the ground but there was a single Yellow Wagtail, one Ortolan Bunting, several Willow Warblers, two Common Whitethroats and two Upcher’s Warblers. Upcher’s Warbler has had a great spring with plenty of birds seen and very good views being obtained of many of the birds present. Two Whinchats were still about but not much else. Shrikes were still the commonest sight with Red-backed Shrike being the commonest with over thirty birds seen. Other shrikes included five Turkestan Shrikes, four Lesser Grey Shrikes, three Daurian Shrikes and one very late adult male Woodchat Shrike.
Upcher's Warbler
Ortolan Bunting
Ortolan Bunting
Waders were also much reduced with three Common Snipe, several Common Ringed Plover and Little Stints, one Temminck’s Stint and one Curlew Sandpiper about all that was seen. A late group of 300+ Greater Flamingos, mainly juveniles, was seen out on the flooded Sabkha and was a pleasant surprise. A late Spotted Crake was walking around an area of water where someone had illegally dumped some building rubbish. Clamorous Reed Warblers were still in full song and today were joined by a number of singing European Reed Warblers. Little Bitterns have been a scarce sight this spring foe me but today I had nine sightings of the species. Other herons included plenty of Little Egrets, several Indian Reef Herons and ten Squacco Herons.
Common Snipe
Common Snipe
Common Snipe
Purple Swamphen

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