18 February 2015

A light sniff of Spring

Week 06, 07 February 2015 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City

It was back down to the south of the country to the Sea City project. With temperatures becoming more bearable in the early morning, you get the sense and feeling that spring is around the corner.

At the reed patch, I found a solitary and motionless Common Snipe, that is until I took the first image and it exploded in a blur of wings and feathers and flew off

Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
Indian Reed Warbler was my first sighting in the south, 

Indian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus s. brunnescens)

it came out of the depths of the reeds to chase away two Common Chiffchaff that must have been foraging in it's territory

Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
A male Desert Wheatear flew in from somewhere in the desert and alighted on this stick for a short moment.

Male Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
A little later a Grey Heron passed by overhead

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
The rest of the day again proved to be quite deficient on species diversity, although I did pick up the first Woodchat and Mauryan Grey Shrike of the spring. The balance of birds were all Wheatears; here an Isabelline Wheatear in fine spring plumage - in fact it's 'dark' upperparts and loral line seemingly passing through the eye had me second guessing myself

Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina) in Spring plumage

The rest of the Wheatear's seen were all Desert

Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)

As always, when birds are thin on the ground, you look for other creatures of interest - Darkling Beetles were seen in a few areas

Darkling Beetle
The number of Dragonflies seen was astounding - predominantly all Vagrant Emperors (I think) - the Bee-eaters are in for a feast when they arrive in the next few weeks. I managed a few DIF (Dragonflies in Flight) 

Vagrant Emperor (Hemianax ephippiger)
as well as a few static poses

Male Vagrant Emperor (Hemianax ephippiger)

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