05 July 2012

Abu Ali Island & Sabkhat Al Fasl - Jubail

I returned to Abu Ali Island at the weekend to see if I could relocate the Black Kites and 100% confirm they were Black-eared Kites lineatus. Unfortunately there was no sign of them and despite extensive searching I did not see any sign of them. Maybe they were late migrants rather than summering birds? I continued across the island to look at the pond at the far end near the marine loading pier and found similar birds to last weekend with the four Great Crested Grebes still present. 31 Greater Flamingos were in the pond with three more on the sea nearby. Six Eurasian Curlew and five Common Redshank were the only waders seen with the exception of Kentish Plover which breeds there. The island in the pond was full of terns again with all of them being either White-cheeked Tern or Saunder's/Little Terns.
White-cheeked Tern
Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover in flight
Saunder's Tern (adult)
Common Moorhen

A Greater Hoopoe-Lark was present at the edge of the pond, which I did not see last weekend, although I did see one in flight as I was driving across the island. The only other small land bird see apart from House Sparrow was Crested Lark which presumably bred on the island. After spending most of the day on the island I went to nearby Sabkhat Al Fasl. It was very hot by the time I reached the site and bird activity was very low. The water levels are very low now and the flooded sabkha area is now entirely dry so no waders there anymore. Birds of interest included an adult male Little Bittern near to where I saw the juvenile bird last weekend and three Purple Swamphens. Caspian, Little, Saunder's and White-cheeked Terns were about in good numbers and hundreds of juvenile Common Moorhens were on every patch of water. A single Western Osprey, sitting on a large wooden post was the only bird of prey seen all day.