11 September 2014

At last some migrants – Sabkhat Al Fasl

Last weekends birding at Sabkhat Al Fasl at last produced some migrants. Normally by the end of August good numbers of birds are already passing through the Eastern Province but this years migration appears to have been delayed for some unknown reason.  Up until last weekend we had only seen a handful of Yellow Wagtails and not much else but this weekend although numbers were low a few migrant species were seen. These included a couple of Spotted Flycatchers, 20+ Yellow Wagtails, two Common Whitethroats, Great Reed Warbler, ten Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters and plenty of Barn Swallows and Sand Martins. No shrikes were seen though which was a surprise. The majority of bids seen as normal were herons, waders and terns with plenty of all. An increasing number of Grey Herons were seen with over 30 birds and a single Purple Heron was the first of the autumn for me. Three Lesser Short-toed Larks were an unusual sight for the location seen in the same area where the Egyptian Nightjars have been all summer. There were still a minimum of six birds present on Friday, meaning birds have been seen from June to September this year at this location. Other interesting birds seen included a Common Kestrel, a juvenile Ruddy Turnstone, several Common Mynas, one Western Cattle Egret the first of the autumn and a good showing of purple Swamphens.
Spotted Flycatcher
Yellow Wagtail
Terek Sandpipe 
Ruddy Turnstone - juvenile
Purple Swamphen
Common Kestrel
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Egyptian Nightjar
Egyptian Nightjar