26 May 2013

Still a few straggling migrants - Sabkhat Al Fasl

Another early morning trip to my normal weekend haunt of Sabkhat Al Fasl was undertaken arriving at first light. The drive in which has been full of birds in the last few trips produced virtually nothing and it was looking like it may be a long hard day looking for something good. As it turned out there were still a few migrants about with Red-backed Shrike being the most common and 17 birds were seen during the day with about 50% Males and 50% females. Other migrants included several Willow Warblers, one Common Redstart, one Yellow Wagtail, three Spotted Flycatchers, 30+ Sand Martins and 10+ Barn Swallows.
Red-backed Shrike - female
Red-backed Shrike - male
Spotted Flycatcher
The wet areas held a few waders with most being Little Ringed Plovers and Kentish Plovers, with both species breeding at this site and young of both seen. Other waders included two Red-necked Phalaropes (see earlier post), three Wood Sandpipers, 30+ Black-winged Stilts and a Ruff. A few Purple Swamphens were still around.
Little Ringed Plover
Kentish Plover
Purple Swamphen
The flooded Sabkha area still has a lot of water and 300+ Greater Flamingo, including adults and young birds were seen. The birds were quite close in so I spent a bit of time looking to see if I could find any colour-ringed birds but without luck. Several terns were feeding about with most being Gull-billed and Little Terns but also Caspian Tern. A late second calendar year gull got my attention but turned out to be a Black-headed Gull rather than anything more unusual.
Caspian Tern
Common Black-headed Gull