27 July 2011

Caspian Turtle

Yesterday I saw a Caspian Turtle (Mauremys caspica) on the dried up edge of the percolation pond. They are a cold-blooded, freshwater, medium sized semi-aquatic turtle. The carapace is normally tan to olive and the head is not enlarged and is olive to dark brown with yellow or pale cream-coloured stripes. Females are generally larger than males. Siebenrock's Caspian Turtle(M. c. siebenrocki) occurs in Iran and Iraq with relict populations in Saudi Arabia and Bhahrain.

The best bird of the day was a Southern Grey Shrike (aucheri) also known as Arabian Grey Shrike. Other good birds included a Gull-billed Tern, Little Tern, eight Little Stint, one Green Sandpiper, seventeen Wood Sandpiper, twenty three Little Ringed Plover, fifteen Kentish Plover and two hundred and sixteen Black-winged Stilt.