16 August 2016

Sweet afternoon light

Week 31, 29 July 2016 - Jahra Pools Reserve

After a few disappointing morning outings to Jahra Pools Reserve, I opted for a different tactic by heading out in the late afternoon. Primarily as this is a better time for photography in the few pools that can still be seen. Reed growth has been phenomenal this summer - great for the birds in terms of cover, but not so for the birders and photographers.

Checking a few gaps in the reeds, I found a splendid Squacco Heron in all it's breeding plumage finery...

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) in breeding plumage
There were both young and adult Eurasian Coot around

Juvenile Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)

Adult Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
Overhead a couple of Caspian Terns were patrolling and hunting over one of the larger pools

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
As was one of this years Gull-billed Terns

Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)
I then found a good spot, opened all the window and switched the engine off - not great for body fluid loss, but essential to reduce any engine vibration while shooting with my camera resting on a beanbag on the windowsill. After a 15-minutes, the birds relax and others that had flushed return and enjoyed a good hour with the late afternoon sun behind me and very little wind.

Little Stint's were the most predominant species

Little Stint (Calidris minuta)

A few Dunlin were interspersed within the flock

Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
Black-winged Stilt is a naturally photographic species

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
This Grey-headed Swamphen does not look like it belongs in the air...

Grey-headed Swamphen (Porphyrio  p. poliocephalus)
By now the sun was low on the horizon and the light had faded, so I started driving back slowly to the gate and on one of the tracks I found Black-headed Wagtail

Black-headed Wagtail (Motacilla f. feldegg)
as well as my first Eurasian Hoopoe of this Autumn

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
Grey Herons and Western Great Egrets had flown in to roost for the night

Heron silhouette at sunset
Just as the sun set

Jahra sunset
This was an enjoyable afternoon, that I will certainly repeat...

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