22 August 2012

More of the same, almost!

Week 33, 17 August 2012 - Sulaibikhat, Jahra Farm and SAANR (Click on image to enlarge)

An early start with the sun just rising up on the 206 in Salwa as I headed north.

Sunrise over Salwa
I made a detour at Sulaibikhat, again some shooters were blasting away at anything/everything - but I was able to photograph this White-throated Kingfisher before flushing it away from the shooters intentionally.

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) in early morning light
With water restored at Jahra Farms, it is now a worthy stop on the way to SAANR. The White-throated Robin was still present and sitting quietly under a palm tree, it was quite confiding.

1cy White-throated Robin (Irania gutturalis)

I flushed a young Woodchat Shrike that was having a bath in one of the small channels and it perched momentarily in great morning light

1cy Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
The small holding pond at the entrance to the farm, provides a lot of cover for birds to come and drink and so it was for an adult and young juvenile White-eared Bulbul

Adult White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus l. leucotis)

Juvenile White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus l. leucotis)
An adult Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

A few Common Whitethroats

Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)
A single Eurasian Reed Warbler

Eurasian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
and Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (Iduna pallida)
A Lesser Grey Shrike flew in more for shade than to drink, scattering all the other birds

Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor) 
As I was leaving a local came in to hang a bird trap, despite me standing and photographing at the same spot. On top of the shooting, birds are also trapped for food and the market - so they really do have a tough time considering all the natural hazards during migration. 

Bird trap at Jahra Farm
I then headed to SAANR and driving to Tuhla found two Arabian Red Foxes that ran like the wind to a safe distance, they are really quite cartoon'ish with their skinny bodies and ears like satelitte dishes and remind me of Wiley the Coyote

Arabian Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes arabica)
Once at Tuhla, I found some shade and waited - sometimes the best tactic. I saw this Upchers Warbler slowly making its way down the dead branches of an acacia to get to the water for a drink

Upchers Warbler (Hippolais languida)
A juvenile Common Moorhen looked quite out of place walking across the desert from one pool to the other

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
I drove to the wadi pan which is still dry and found a Greater Hoopoe Lark, once it was comfortable with me, it returned to the shade and crouched low to keep out of the wind - a cooling strategy I have seen them do before

Greater Hoopoe Lark (Alaemon alaudipes)

Staying low in the shade and out of the wind
Driving back to Tuhla, this 6" Spiny-tailed Lizard came dashing across the road

Juvenile Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastux aegyptia)
At Tuhla, I found what I initially thought was a Desert Monitor, as the tail was so long. Observing it from a distance, it started eating seed pods and I thought the poor Monitor had fallen on hard times and had turned from a carnivore to a vegan. I moved closer and discovered that it was a Spiny-tailed Lizard shedding it's skin and am wandering that if in this process the tail grows and then 1/4 of it falls off, as the tail was much longer than on others that I have seen. Nevertheless, this is a face that only a mother could love.

Moulting Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastux aegyptia)

A few Rufous-tailed Scrub Robins were seen and the numbers of this species is now also increasing.

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin (Cercotrichas galactotes)
Driving back to the main gate, I diverted past a row of Acacias when a movement caught my eye and I discovered a Common Quail hiding at the base of an Acacia trying to keep in the shade and out of the wind.

Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix)

Driving slowly, I again flushed the two Arabian Red Foxes and saw them disappear into a burrow close to the road. I parked my car out in the open (no shade), opened the windows, set up my camera and switched off the car. So, no a/c and the hot hair dryer wind blowing constantly through my car as I listened to Adele softly singing setting fire to the rain (how would you do that anyway?), as I waited and waited for over 30-minutes. Eventually with the moisture being sucked out of me and my face starting to feel like that of the Lizard's I saw earlier at Tuhla; my patience outlasted the Foxes curiosity and I was able to fire off two images before it disappeared back into the burrow. Hot, sweaty and satisfied I headed home to re hydrate.

Arabian Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes arabica)

1 comment:

  1. Nice catch! I really like the fox shots :)

    Again, did you try reporting these shooters? I do have hope these "guns" are taken seriously after the incident 2 days ago; a groom was shot dead by mistake by his friend at the back at the wedding's night.