25 August 2015

Independence Day (for some)

Week 27, 04 July 2015 - Jahra East (JEO) and Jahra Pools (JPR)

By now I had acclimatised a little to the summer temps which vary between 47 and 50+ depending on whose temperature gauge you trust.

For birding and photography, you have to get out early and are always going to be challenged with the harsher sun and heat haze for any decent images at this time of year. So, this post is just illustrated with record images.

I started at JEO on the high tide, finding a few first year Black-winged Stilts in amongst some of the other shorebirds

Juvenile Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
As the sun was against me, I headed to Jahra Pools - but even here the birds always seemed to be against the light, so it was very frustrating. In this reserve there were both adult and juvenile Black-winged Stilt.

Adult Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Other birds that bred this season were Little Grebe

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Common Moorhen and Eurasian Coot

Juvenile Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
Along the edges of the pools I found Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
A mixed flock of Cream-coloured Coursers

Adult Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor )
Slender-billed Gulls feeding on fish that had been stranded in a shallow pool that was slowly drying out

Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei) feeding on stranded fish
A smart looking Squacco Heron was seen in some reed habitat

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloide) in breeding plumage
A lone Pied Avocet seemed to be on a mission as it foraged quite frantically in another shallow pool

Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
A few marsh Terns were present around the pools, here a Whiskered

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)
with Caspian Terns patrolling the shoreline

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
I saw my first Black-headed Wagtail of this autumn passage (although it is still mid-summer)

Black-headed Wagtail (Motacilla f. feldegg)
Namaqua Doves now appear to be resident in the reserve, as I see them on every visit.

Male Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis)
I think I have finally figured out how to separate Lesser Emperor from Vagrant Emperor

Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope)
By now, the heat had taken it's toll, so I retired back to the air conditioned bliss of my apartment

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