16 Jun 2014

Last few migrants – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Birding has slowed down considerably now and the summer heat has reached 48 degrees Celsius but there are still a very small number of migrants around. The only ones we saw on 8 July were two Barn Swallows and a single extremely late Northern Wheatear. The best birds seen were a juvenile Red-wattled Lapwing a scarce visitor to the Eastern Province and a second calendar year summering Greater Spotted Eagle about which I have posted detail already. Tern numbers had dropped off significantly with most birds now on their Gulf coral island breeding sites although a few White-cheeked Terns and some Common Terns were seen along with a group of 25 Caspian Terns and several Little Terns. Herons as always were conspicuous with plenty of Little Bitterns seen including males, females and juveniles indicating a successful breeding season for the species. Squacco Herons in full breeding plumage were also seen in good numbers with about 15 birds seen. Other birds included thousands of Greater Flamingos, the regular summering Caspian Gulls (adult and second calendar year) and numerous Graceful Prinias, Caspian Reed Warblers and Indian (Clamorous) Reed Warblers. Two second calendar year Black-headed Gulls were also seen on the flooded sabkha.
Barn Swallow
Northern Wheatear
Greater Spotted Eagle - 2nd Calendar Year
Greater Spotted Eagle - 2nd Calendar Year
White-cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern
Little Bittern - male
Squacco Heron

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