20 December 2011

A morning with The Beast

Week 47 - 25 November 2011, Sulaibikhat Bay and Jahra Pool Reserve

I had recently acquired a large Canon used prime lens that has affectionately been called 'The Beast' and was itching to try it out. It is certainly nowhere near as portable as my 400mm, but the reach and optical quality really gives a new dimension to bird photography - although I still have to learn it's nuances and get to the gym, as IS can only help so much.

As the tide was favourable, I headed for Sulaibikhat Bay and was able to photograph a few birds in soft light. Sulaibikhat Bay is THE place to view Greater Flamingo's and there was quite a large flock present today

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
In amongst the Flamingo, I spotted a small flock of Common Shelduck

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
In the shallows a Common Redshank was seen foraging

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
But a hunting Little Egret provided most of the entertainment - eventually catching and devouring a small fish after what seemed like an enormous amount of energy expended for such a small meal

Hunting Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Just as I was about to leave a White Wagtail dropped in

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
I moved a little further up the coast and was rewarded with a few Crab-plovers - a bird I havent seen for quite some time

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola)
and many Grey Herons feeding in the silt, although this one seemed to be enjoying the warm sun or was unwilling to give up it's perch

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
A few Greater Sand Plover seem to overwinter

Non-breeding Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)
Some people arriving to picnic at the waters edge flushed all the birds and they werent coming back, so it was off to Jahra Pool Reserve where the usual European Stonechats were seen, no sign of the Penduline Tits today

Female European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

Male European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)
The 5,5m minimum focussing distance of The Beast was challenged with this bold Red-spotted Bluethroat, so it is a little 'soft'

Red-spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)
Scanning the pools I found a Black-necked Grebe very far out, so this was just a record shot before I had to call it a day.

Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)

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