7 Sep 2015

Migrants and residents – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Away from all the waders that were present at Sabkhat Al Fasl last visit there were also plenty of other good birds seen making the trip a good days birding for late August. Small flocks of both European and Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters have been seen in the area recently but we only saw two Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters in total. The good numbers of Egyptian Nightjars were also still present with a minimum of ten birds seen, all as usual sitting under small bushes in the shade out of the sun. Eurasian Hoopoe is a migrant to the site, although is a breeding resident at a few sites in the Eastern Province. Up to six birds were seen during our last visit all feeding in the sandy areas to the edge of the main reed beds. A scattering of Yellow Wagtails in various plumages were also scattered around. Other migrants that were not photographed included two Basra Reed Warblers in the bottom of the main reed beds, an Isabelline Wheatear and two Woodchat Shrikes. Large numbers of hirundines were seen including Barn Swallows and Sand Martins. Numbers of Squacco Heron and Greater Flamingos were well down on the previous week but Grey Heron numbers had increased to twenty birds. Resident birds seen included Grey-headed Swamphens, including one family party with two young and Slender-billed Gulls that breed nearby and come to rest and feed up at this time of year. Two very early winter residents in the form of two Common Kingfishers were seen along the edge of one of the reed beds. This species normally occurs in October or November rather than August.
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Egyptian Nightjar
Egyptian Nightjar
Eurasian Hoopoe
Eurasian Hoopoe
Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail
Grey-headed Swamphen
Grey-headed Swamphen
Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull
Slender-billed Gull

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