18 Jun 2015

Last of the migrants – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Last weekend I went birding to Sabkhat Al Fasl rather than ringing and although there were a lot of birds about there were only a few true migrants. The best was an adult male Red-backed Shrike a species that is known as a late migrant to the region but there were also a few Barn Swallows flying around in small numbers. The other birds seen where mainly breeding species, either resident breeders such as Little Bitterns, Graceful Prinias and Indian Reef Herons or summer breeders such as Little Ringed Plovers, Black-winged Stilts, Kentish Plovers and Squacco Herons. We do not have positive proof of Squacco Herons breeding at this location but birds are around all summer in reasonable numbers, I saw at least 20 birds this trip. Also in August we see hundreds of juveniles, but are uncertain if these are bred at the site or migrants from elsewhere. I suspect birds breed here in reasonable numbers but in an area away from my eyes so I cannot be certain. Other birds seen included over 1000 Greater Flamingos, a species that could breed if disturbance was less and the fact that this is now happening due to patrolling by the SWA means that we may have breeding burds at this site in the near future. There were not many waders although two Pied Avocets were seen and apart from numerous terns that I will post about later there were three Slender-billed Gulls. Purple Swamphens and Common Moorhens were around in most places and singing Indian (Clamorous) and European (Caspian) Reed Warblers were heard but very little else was seen.
Red-backed Shrike - male
Red-backed Shrike - male
Indian Reef Heron
Indian Reef Heron
Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron
Pied Avocet
Pied Avocet
Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

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