My first day out in this new year and it was a dull and overcast day with enough precipitation to only dirty your car. I was going to start at Pivot Fields to see if the Dotterel was still present, but access was not allowed today, so it was off to Jahra Pools.
Unfortunately a lone shooter had gained access to the reserve and spooked all the birds when he tried to shoot at some Flamingoes. I alerted the guards who soon chased him off - but it is sad that a shooter will disregard the fact that this is a reserve where birds are supposed to be protected. Here the Greater Flamingos taking flight with the adult sporting a broken leg, not sure if this was caused by the shooter.
|Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)|
I did find a Greater Spotted Eagle away from where the shooter was with a full crop. Judging by the feathers around it's feet, it was an avain breakfast.
|Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga)|
Chiffchaff's were abundant in the reedbeds, although light was poor, I caught this one trying to snap a passing gnat and a few others gleening in amongst the reeds
|Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)|
After the shooter was chased off, the Tufted Duck that has been around for a week or so, made an appearance from where it was hiding.
|Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)|
Coot numbers have really increased with the stable water conditions
|Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)|
From here I drove along the coast from Jahra East where I was really surprised to see Macqueens Bustard - I guess this is the first bit of land they find, if they have migrated across the Gulf
|Macqueen's Bustard (Chlamydotis macqueenie)|
I finally got to SAANR, where some light rain started to fall so not too much was seen other than a foraging Greater Hoopoe Lark
|Greater Hoopoe Lark (Alaemon alaudipes)|
Three species of Wheatear, with Isabelline being the most common
|Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)|
A Barn Swallow together with a Common House Martin at Tuhla was checked carefully to make sure it was not Asian House Martin at this time of year - it wasnt, as it had pale not dark underwing coverts!
|Common House Martin (Delichon urbicum)|
On the way to the gate, a Mauryian Grey Shrike posed obligingly for a photograph, this one taken as a RAW image (my new years resolution is to try and get to grips with RAW)
|Mauryan Grey Shrike (Lanius lahotra)|
The last stop on the way home was Sulaibikhat Bay where I found a huge flock of Greater Flamingos (no Lesser lurking amongst them) as well as a big flock of Mallards
|Mallard (Anas platyrhnchos)|
|Common Shelduck (Tadoma tadoma)|
and on the shores Terek Sandpiper
|Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)|
|Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)|
and large numbers of Common Black-headed Gulls all still in winter plumage
|Common Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)|
and a few Heuglins Gulls
|Heuglins Gull (Lanius f/h heuglini)|
and fewer Gull-billed Terns (this one and the next hand-held with the 600mm)
|Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)|
There was another Tern that I managed to get one image, which I suspect may be Common
|Possible Common Tern?|
Not too bad a morning overall, despite gloomy conditions, with 42 species recorded