So much for my resolution of clearing my backlog; slowly, slowly catchy monkey!
I was back down in the south and split my birding time between a boat and my SUV.
As winter approaches, so do the large white-headed Gulls and each year it feels like I am learning again from scratch; especially at the beginning of the winter when they are moulting. I made the first attempt at ID and was pleased to have achieved 60% and thanks to Yoav who assisted with the balance and confirmed my attempts.
The mix today was Heuglin's and Steppe and not always straight forward to separate - here is one of the easier Heuglin's
|Heuglin's Gull (Larus f. heuglini)|
Followed by some Steppe
|Steppe Gull (Larus f. barabensis)|
Obviously along with the Gulls, Great Cormorants have also arrived for the winter.
|Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) flying over Steppe Gull|
When I checked off-shore, I found a small number of Socotra Cormorants that appear all set to over-winter again.
|Over-wintering Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)|
|Roosting Slender-billed Gulls (Chroicocephalus genei)|
|Mixed Shorebirds; Redshank, Greenshank, Curlew, Grey Plover, Dunlin|
|Greater Sand (Charadrius leschenaultii), Lesser Sand (Charadrius atrifrons) and Kentish (Charadrius alexandrinus)|
|Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)|
|Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)|
|Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) feeding|
|Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)|
|Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus)|
Daurian Shrikes appear to be prevalent in small numbers during the winter months
|Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)|
|Male Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)|
|Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)|
|Red-tailed Wheatear (Oenanthe chrysopygia)|
|Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)|
|The one that didn't get away; Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)|