4 Feb 2015

The normal winter birds – Sabkhat Al Fasl

My first trip birding to Sabkhat Al Fasl for 2015 turned out to be a reasonably good days bird watching. We several good birds some of which I will post about later with one of the first species seen two Greater Spotted Eagles sitting on two large posts near to the reed beds. We also saw the flock of Spanish Sparrows that have frequented the site this winter but now numbers had grown to well over 50 birds. Large numbers of Great Cormorants have started using this area in the last two years and again good numbers were seen. Other water birds seen included plenty of Squacco Herons, Little Egrets, Indian Reef Herons with four Purple Herons, ten Western Great Egrets and several Grey Herons. A minimum of 1000 Greater Flamingo were on the flooded sabkha along with several wader species including Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, Little Stint, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Common Ringed Plover and Dunlin. A small number of White-winged Terns and Caspian Terns were seen and a single second calendar year Great Black-headed Gull. Other birds of interest were plenty of Common Kingfishers, four Eastern Stonechats including one very smart male NCT stonechat, and 20+ White Wagtials and Water Pipits. A single Meadow Pipit like bird was seen in the scrub but good views prevented identification. As always a good number of Grey-headed (Purple) Swamphens were seen with this species appearing to be liking the lack of disturbance from fishermen now the SWA are patrolling the location and preventing them access. A small flock of Eurasian Starlings flew over at one point but kept on going and several Snipe were flushed but never seen well enough to identify but were probably all Common Snipe.
Great Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Indian Reef Heron
Indian Reef Heron
Little Egret
Little Egret
Purple Heron
Purple Heron
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron
Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank
Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher
Grey-headed (Purple) Swamphen
Grey-headed (Purple) Swamphen
Western Marsh Harrier
Western Marsh Harrier

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