19 September 2014

A scattering of Shrikes – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Last weekend there were a few more signs of migration occurring and one of the signs were the few shrikes that had started to appear. A nice male Woodchat Shrike was my first one of the autumn and I also saw a Lesser Grey Shrike, a male Red-backed Shrike and a Daurian Shrike. Great Reed Warblers were seen in a few places, as were the resident Indian Reed Warblers but apart from this the only other warbler seen was a Common Whitethroat. Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, Yellow Wagtails, Greater Short-toed Larks, Spotted Flycatchers, Barn Swallows, Sand Martins were also seen as was my first Western Marsh Harrier of the year, with both males and females seen and a total of at least five birds. A dark raptor flew over and away but my views were poor, although it may have been a Booted Eagle, but I am not claiming it. A Tree Pipit was also seen along the edge of the reed-beds and was my first one of the autumn. Wader numbers were still quite high with good numbers of Common Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Ruff and Lesser Sand Plover and lesser numbers of Pied Avocet, Greater Sand Plover, Ruddy Turnstones, Common Redshank and Marsh Sandpiper. Good numbers of herons were also about with lots of Squacco Herons instead of the one or two the week before and plenty of Purple Herons and Grey Herons. There were hundreds of Indian Reef Herons on the sabkha and good numbers of Greater Flamingo have returned for the winter.
Lesser Grey Shrike
Indian Reed Warbler
Yellow Wagtail
Little Grebes
Common Ringed Plover
Indian Reef Herons

Squacco Heron