18 September 2011

Sabkhat Al Fasl

An early morning trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl to get there for first light on Thursday produced a number of good birds. As we approaching the site Phil said to me that he often saw Greater Spotted Eagle perched on the telegraph poles in the winter here. No sooner had he said this that I saw an eagle on one of the posts and as we approached it turned out to be a juvenile Greater Spotted Eagle. I got a couple of record shots of it but the light was poor so I have not posted them here. This was a good start to the day. Shooting was much less today which also helped although there were quite a few dead birds around including Grey and Purple Heron. Warblers were in evidence today with the first Sedge Warblers of the autumn (at least two), 10+ Clamorous Reed Warbler and four Caspian Reed Warbler. A couple of Bluethroat were seen creeping around the bottom of the reed beds and hundreds of Yellow Wagtail where present. A Daurian Shrike was hunting from the top of the reed stems, a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater was sitting on a dead tree and Barn Swallow and Sand Martin were flying over the reed beds hunting for insects. Three White-winged Tern, eight Caspian Tern and 15 Slender-billed Gull were seen. As already posted two Pintail Snipe, one Common Snipe were seen along with a number of waders including one Broad-billed Sandpiper, one Wood Sandpiper, 10 Common Ringed Plover, 13 Pied Avocet, two Common Greenshank, four Common Redshank and a few Little Stint and Kentish Plover. A group of 13 Grey Heron flew over and about 10 Greater Flamingo where on one of the large pools.
 Broad-billed Sandpiper
 Wood Sandpiper
 Clamorous Reed Warbler
 Sedge Warbler
Yellow Wagtail