07 October 2011

Plenty of migrants - Sabkhat Al Fasl

Another 04:30 hrs start yesterday to get to Sabkhat Al Fasl for 06:00 hrs. When I got there it was obvious there were a lot of migrants about and the first bird I saw was a male Common Redstart which is the first returning autumn bird I have seen. Plenty of Wheatears were also present with five Isabelline Wheatear and a Pied Wheatear showing on the drive in. Yellow wagtails were flying about along with three Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters and a Greater Short-toed Lark. The most obvious birds though were shrikes with a first winter Red-backed Shrike in the reeds and 17 Daurain Shrikes on almost every vantage point. A male Turkestan Shrike was seen at the far end of the reserve and another one on the way out. Other good birds seen included two Common Kingfisher together, 21 Marsh Harrier with 11 together in flight which was a really amazing sight. Other birds of prey seen included a Western Osprey, one Eurasian Hobby and a first year Greater Spotted Eagle. Clamorous Reed Warbler where plentiful in the reeds and three White-winged Tern and two Whiskered Tern were catching insects over the main water. Waders included White-tailed Lapwing, probably the same bird as seen last week although this week it was on the edge of the main lake, Marsh Sandpiper, six Curlew Sandpiper, 47 Pied Avocet and three Common Snipe.
 Western Osprey
 Western Marsh Harrier
 Common Snipe
 Common Kingfisher
 Purple Swamphen
Purple Swamphen