27 September 2014

Migration now in full swing – Sabkhat Al Fasl

As we had a long holiday prior to Saudi National Day on 23 September I was able to visit Sabkhat Al Fasl on Tuesday 22 September. As it was a midweek visit there were no fishermen and only one hunter that made the visit very pleasant. There were plenty of migrants around of a good number of species although numbers of most of them were low. Terns as always at this time of year were plentiful with good numbers of White-winged Terns, Caspian Terns and Little Terns. Wheatears were also seen in small numbers with most being Northern Wheatears and Isabelline Wheatears but I also saw my first returning Pied Wheatear of the autumn that was a nice first year male. Barn Swallows and Sand Martin numbers were high with more than 100 of each species and plenty of Spotted Flycatchers were also around. A single Daurian Shrike and several Eurasian Hoopoes were also located along the edge of the reed beds. Eight Western Marsh Harriers, mostly immatures and females were seen but there was also an adult male and one Pallid Harrier also flew over the scrape area. As always there were plenty of Purple Swamphens around and several Squacco Herons and Grey Herons.
White-winged Tern
Caspian Terns
Northern Wheatear
Pied Wheatear - first year male
Pied Wheatear - first year male
Barn Swallow
Marsh Harrier - male
Pallid Harrier
Purple Swamphen