16 August 2016

Sea and Shorebirds

Week 29, 15 July 2016 - Jahra East and Jahra Pools

As my family is still away in SA, I was out early this morning to be at Jahra East at sunrise and to check for breeding Warblers. There was some humidity in the air and sitting with the windows open next to a sewage outfall for 90-minutes is not the most pleasant experience (sweaty and smelly) - especially since there were hardly any Warblers at all!

Disappointed, I drove a little and then walked along the outfall to the sea. I could a number of Gulls and Terns being quite vocal and saw that there were 2 Arctic Skua's harassing them in the air, trying to get the Terns to regurgitate fish they had caught. I managed to get a few distant record images as they disappeared back out to sea.

A distant Arctic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus) with a desert backdrop

Of interest was a young Caspian Gull roosting on the high tide line - way earlier than the majority of Gulls who normally arrive in late autumn, early winter.

Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)
A couple of Dragonflies were seen in the desert flora along the coast

Dragonfly sp
Overhead, I had a Eurasian Whimbrel fly by

Eurasian Whimbrel (Numenius p. phaeopus)
Followed by a number of pale and dark form Western Reef Herons

A trio of Western Reef Heron (Egretta g. schistacea)
And a few Little Tern

Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)
Migrants included a number of Barn Swallows, together with many Sand Martins

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
On the way to Jahra Pools, I found a Blue Pansy 

Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya here)
It doesn't take long for the temperatures to hit the mid to high 40's and of course temperatures and heat haze are detrimental to achieving good images.

Jahra Pools before noon is tough, as generally you are photographing against the sun - so at best, all you can hope for are good record images.

A number of wading species were seen, ranging and increasing in size from Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)
To White-tailed Lapwing which did breed in JPR this year

White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus)
Then a Western Great Egret

Western Great Egret (Ardea alba)
and finally a Western White Stork that has been present for a few weeks. I guess it will depart later in the autumn when other soaring species are migrating south.

Western White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)
Lastly, in one open pool a number of White-winged Terns were roosting in the shallow water.

White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)
By this time, it was time to head for shade and some relief from the summer heat!

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