24 July 2013

Big increase in wader numbers – Sabkhat Al Fasl

The weekend trip to Sabkhat Al Fasl produced quite a few more birds than last weekend. On arrival at the water areas we encountered well over 50 Squacco Herons including a number of juveniles indicating the species breeds at this site. They have not been recorded breeding here before but I am sure they must have done as I saw many adults in summer and juveniles in autumn there last year. Another bird that breeds is Little Bittern and we saw a single juvenile standing on some reeds. Two Little Egrets and 50+ Indian Reef Herons were also seen in the same area.
Little Bittern - juvenile
Terns were plentiful with hundreds of White-cheeked Terns, two Caspian Terns and 100+ Little Terns flying about. The real surprise was the increase in number of waders since last week. Little Stint numbers had increased from a single bird to several hundred and Black-winged Stilt numbers were well over 500 an amazing sight. Other waders seen included eight Common Greenshanks, three Ruff, two Common Redshank, two Greater Sand Plovers, five Little Ringed Plovers, 100+ Kentish Plovers and three Common Sandpipers.
Curlew Sandpipers
Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover
Kentish Plover - juvenile
Common Sandpiper
The only other signs of migration were one Sand Martin, four Barn Swallows and two Yellow Wagtails including one Black-headed Wagtail.