31 July 2012

Sea and Desert - Again

Week 30, 25 July 2012 - Jahra East Outfall and SAANR (Click image to enlarge)

During Ramadan we have shortened working hours, so if you are willing to get up really early, you can do some birding before work - which is what I did today.

I was at JEO just after sunrise and enjoyed the peace and tranquility as the outfall came to life. As with last week, Eurasian Reed Warblers were the most abundant and still breeding, as can be seen with all the insects being caught and carried deep into the reed bed

Eurasian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
During the course of my stay, other Warblers were also seen - but more often than not, it was fleeting, so for a good image you had to be constantly at the ready. I think this may be a Caspian Reed Warbler with cold appearance and tinges of grey - but I stand to be corrected.

Possible Caspian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. fuscus)
Graceful Prinia's were also active around the fringes of the reedbeds..

Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis)
And a few Barn Swallows and Sand Martins were hawking over the outfall

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
With patience, I was rewarded with a great sighting of Basra Reed Warbler, that stayed just a little longer - affording good photo opportunities

Basra Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus griseldis)
I had seen the Indian Reed Warbler flying up and down the outfall, but not stopping anywhere near me. Just as I was about to move to the next location, one flew in very briefly and I managed to 'grab' this image through the reeds before it disappeared.

Indian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. brunnescens)
Just before the 80 freeway, I checked out the small pan where I found Black-winged Stilt

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
and a rather plump Little Stint

Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
I then headed for a quick visit to SAANR and although it was already too hot, did find two Upchers Warblers at Tuhla (early autumn arrivals)

Upchers Warbler (Hippolais languida)

Driving out to the now dry wadi pan, I disturbed this scrawny Arabian Red Fox that was hiding in a Spiny-tailed Lizard (Dhub) hole next to the road. If it hadnt have put up it's ears I would have missed it altogether

Arabian Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes arabica)
There were a few Larks at the now dry pan, all trying to find shade and shelter from the sun and heat. A few Lesser Short-toed Larks were amongst the Crested Larks, this one sporting a 'cool' crest

Lesser Short-toed Lark (Calandrella rufescens)
Here is one shelterning in the shade of a small rock, to escape the morning heat which was already up to 50 degrees C. It is truly amazing how these small birds survive in such extreme temperatures and conditions.

Spot the Lesser Short-toed Lark (Calandrella rufescens)
While editing the images in my apartment, our new friend named 'Grecko' by my son, went about his business of looking for food in our apartment. Not sure which species this is?

Grecko the Gecko

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