26 August 2015

The birds and the butterflies

Week 31, 01 August 2015 - Mutla'a Ranch and Jahra Pools Reserve

I was on a mission to look for butterflies in the early morning, so was at the Ranch just after sunrise when butterflies are a little less active in the cooler temperatures.

I initially avoided the Alfalfa fields and searched in other habitat types, but eventually only found butterflies associating with the Syrian Mesquite shrubs.

Here I found a single Asian Grass Blue, which seemed unusual as they are most commonly found in the Alfalfa fields

Asian Grass Blue (Zizeeria karsandra karsandra)
I was pleased to see that a few Lederer's Cupid were still present

Lederer's Cupid (Chilades galba)

as was a single worn Mediterranean Pierrot

Mediterranean Pierrot (Tarucus rosaceus)
Other invertebrates included another Wasp sp

Wasp sp.
and a Dragonfly sp, whose ID's I still need to confirm

Dragonfly sp.
Whilst walking the farm, I disturbed a Little Crake in some thick habitat and that was a surprise. But, on migration you need to be prepared to find migrants in unusual places

Little Crake (Porzana parva)
I had a look at the Alfalfa fields, finding a Moth sp for which I have no literature to ID the species

Moth sp.
I headed down the ridge to Jahra Pools where I also caught up with Neil. I found a distant Black-winged Kite roosting on the boundary fence. It is no longer considered for a rarity report, but still a good bird to find.

Distant Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus vociferus)
The first Isabelline Wheatears of this autumn had arrived

Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)
Along the coast, Caspian Terns were patrolling the shoreline

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
And a few 1st year Collared Pratincole's were roosting amongst the mixed shorebirds.

1st year Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)
The number of Broad-billed Sandpipers had diminished, but also good to see a few Lesser Sand Plovers in breeding plumage

Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius atrifrons) and Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus)
Kentish Plover were quite numerous

Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Around the pools both White-winged and Whiskered Terns were seen

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)
As well as a few more Lesser Emperor's

Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope)
Again, the rising summer temperature kept the birding outing capped to mid-morning before it was time to retreat to a cooler place.

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