13 August 2012

A few more birds - Sabkhat Al Fasl

A visit to Sabkhat Al Fasl produced a few more birds than have been seen in recent weeks there. One of the first birds was a Woodchat Shrike which is the first returning migrant I have seen this autumn of this species. Other migrants included three Eurasian Hoopoes which are not seen at this site except on migration along with 15 Barn Swallows and a Sand Martin. Another migrant was a bright Yellow Wagtail seen feeding around on the edge of the main sabkha where there were many more waders present than last week. These included mainly Little Stints, Little Ringed Plovers and Kentish Plovers although a single Common Ringed Plover and three Lesser Sand Ploers were also seen along with 20+ Ruddy Turnstones. Seven White-winged Terns were present along with hundreds of White-cheeked Terns, including an adult with very bright bare parts. The bill and leg colour was so red it looked like a Common Tern but was just another of many adult White-cheeked Terns. Little Terns, Caspian Terns and Gull-billed Terns were all seen in good numbers. The only bird of prey seen all day was a Western Osprey sitting on a post. Black-crowned Sparrow-Larks were seen in a couple of different places with a flock of 12 birds, including both males and females, seen by the water pumping station which is the largest flock I have seen at this site. Purple Swamphen sightings are again increasing with at least nine birds seen and Grey Heron numbers are much higher with a minimum o 15 birds seen. A juvenile Little Bittern was seen very well flying over the main track from the water pumping station.

Eurasian Hoopoe

Eurasian Hoopoe

Yellow Wagtail

White-cheeked Tern - with bright red/orange bare parts