30 January 2013

The calm after the rain and dust storm

Week 05, 30 January 2013 - Sabah al Ahmad Sea City (Click to enlarge image)

Following yesterday's rain in the morning and bizarrely a dust storm in the afternoon I was down at the Sea City project today in calm and cold weather.

Great Cormorant and Slender-billed Gull numbers are on the increase roosting on the pristine beaches and foraging in the lagoons 

Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) and Slender-billed Gulls (Chroicocephalus genei)
There were also some larger Gulls in amongst the masses. Most notable was a single Great Black-headed Gull who really does stand out from the flock; possibly one of the birds I saw off-shore last week?

Great Black-headed Gull (Larus ichthyaetus)
A couple of Heuglin's and a few Steppe Gulls were seen

Steppe Gull (Larus f. barabensis)

Steppe Gull (Larus f. barabensis)
There were numbers of Western Reef Herons with pale form outnumbering the dark form 5-1, as well as quite a few Grey Herons that appeared to stick with the mixed flocks on the beach

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Later I visited the south side of the project near Khirhan town and was able to locate a one-legged (thanks shooters!) Red-tailed Wheatear.

Red-tailed Wheatear (Oenanthe chrysopygia)
I know this is just a male House Sparrow, but they are such an adaptable species that we more often take them for granted

Male House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Driving back north on the 30, the yellow winter flowers seem to stretch out like a carpet on either side of the freeway

 A carpet of Yellow

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