19 June 2013

Mainly Herons and Waders – Sabkhat Al Fasl

The weekend trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl started later than normal as my family came along to see if we could get good views of the Greater Flamingo flock that has been around since winter. Bird numbers were very low and very few migrants seen although two late Spotted Flycatchers and a late adult male Red-backed Shrike added some flavour to the proceedings. The only other migrants seen, excluding waders, was five Barn Swallows and a large group of 30+ Sand Martins. Basically the only other birds seen were water birds with plenty of terns including White-winged Tern, Caspian Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Little Tern and White-cheeked Tern. Five Purple Swamphens and plenty of Common Moorhen were seen along with several species of heron including Little Egret, Indian Reef Heron, Little Bittern and Sqaucco Heron.
Indian Reef Heron - white morph
Indian Reef Heron - white morph
The flooded sabkha still held 300+ Greater Flamingos but they were distant and several waders including several hundred Black-winged Stilts including many juveniles indicating another good breeding year. Kentish Plover have also had a good breeding season with plenty of adults and chicks running around various parts of the site. The only other waders seen were 7 Little Stints, five Little Ringed Plovers and one Greater Sand Plover.
Black-winged Stilt - juvenile
Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover - chick
Little Stint
Greater Sand Plover