09 September 2012

Lots of Herons - Sabkhat Al Fasl

There were a lot of herons at Sabkhat Al Fasl at the weekend, which is, as well as duck, the primary target of th hunters. There were 50+ juvenile Squacco Herons scattered throughout the site and small numbers of both Grey Herons and Purple Herons. The hunters I saw had mainly managed to shoot Purple Herons all of which were juveniles. Three female Western Marsh Harriers were the only birds of prey I saw all day but Greater Spotted Eagles should soon be returning to the area. The only species of duck were three Mallards and three Garganey.

Squacco Heron

Siberian Stonechat

Four species of shrike were seen on the way into the site with one each of Steppe Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Daurian Shrike and juvenile Red-backed Shrike. A spotted flycatcher was in the trees along with a Siberian Stonechat nearby. Wheatears included three Isabelline Wheatear, one Northern Wheatear and a Black-eared Wheatear.Wader numbers were high on the only bit of sabkaht that still has water with 75+ Pied Avocet, seven Marsh Sandpipers and 20+ Broad-billed Sandpipers the best. Small groups of Yellow Wagtails were seen flying over continually throughout the day with well over 100 birds seen.

Isabelline Wheatear
Marsh Sandpiper