08 September 2012

Some colourful birds - Sabkhat Al Fasl

Another trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl was seriously disturbed by the number of hunters present. Despite the signs saying no hunting in both Arabic and English hunters still use the area extensively. This site needs monitoring much more closely to prevent the needless slaughter of many specie of birds. most birds shot do at least appear to be taken home for eating which is some small compensation but some hunters just shoot at anything including Black-winged Stilts and even Little Stints and leave them dead or dying where they are shot. The hunters also get in place before first light, although they seem to leave by about 09:00 hrs when it starts getting hot. The chance of finding something unusual is significantly reduced by the disturbance but birds can still be seen. On Friday no really unusal birds were found but there were a few colourful ones around. This is one of only two sites for Purple Swamphn in the Eastern Province and birds can be seen very well here. I saw at least thirty birds in the days birding which is quite a good count but more thn forty have been counted in the recent past. European Hoopoes are around in small numbers mainly in the scrubby area the side of the two main core areas. Other colourful birds seen were a small group of Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters flying around the scrubby areas but always keeping out of close range for photography. There has been many more Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters this autumn than European Bee-eaters at this site.

Purple Swamphen

Eurasian Hoopoe

Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters