06 March 2016

A splash of colour

Week 04, 23 January 2016 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City, Khiran

It is still dark when I leave and head south, but I do get to enjoy the winter sunrise after grabbing my Mac breakfast to go..

As winter starts edging to an end, you do get the feel that other species will soon make their appearance. And so it was today, even though it was still a little gloomy to start with some heavy clouds overhead....a Common Redshank was first up

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
Followed by a few Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
and a lone Little Egret in and around the location with water and reeds

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
In the desert area, I added Eastern Mourning Wheatear

Eastern Mourning Wheatear (Oenanthe lugens)
and an early pair of European Stonechat's

Female European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

Male European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)
Out on the water it was the expected wintering Gulls and Cormorants; the Gulls are completing their moults in preparation for their imminent departure, so the primary mirrors in this flying Caspian Gull did assist with the ID

Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)
A mixed flock of Gull were found roosting on the beach, this a Heuglin's

Heuglin's Gull (Larus f. heuglini)
But for these two, I'm a little uncertain..
ID uncertain?

Heuglin's Gull (Larus f. heuglini) - perhaps?
A found a large flock of Great Cormorants that had cornered a large shoal of baitfish and I enjoyed the feeding frenzy that followed - organised chaos!

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) feeding mayhem

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) moulted to breeding plumage
An unexpected visitor was a really early Lesser Crested Tern that I found off-shore - either it is early, or it over-wintered?

Lesser Crested Tern (Sterna bengalensis)
Back on land, a pair of Kentish Plovers appeared to be staking out a territory in preparation for the coming breeding season

Female Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)

Male Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
A couple of invertebrates, to keep the post interesting; the regular Darkling Beetle(s)

Darkling Beetles
A Crimson Speckled Flunkey

Crimson Speckled Flunkey (Utetheisa pulchella)
A Wasp sp.

Wasp sp.
and a Honey Bee

Honey Bee
As mentioned in the previous post, the desert flower show has already started following the good winter rains

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