03 October 2012

JPR Drying out

Week 39, 27 September 2012 - Jahra Pools Reserve (Click to enlarge image)

On the way to JPR, I stopped on the coast and photographed one of the many Gull-billed Terns foraging near an outfall

Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)
I was able to spend an hour at JPR at lunch time, not ideal light but better than nothing. Unfortunately, there is a dispute with contractors who laid the water pipeline and water supply to this critical reserve in migration has been interrupted and the pools are drying up rapidly. We all hope that this will be resolved soon, so water supply will resume.

The Western Marsh Harriers are still present at JPR, patrolling low over the reeds to ambush any unsuspecting birds

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
Wader numbers are encouraging, but as water dwindles and evaporates, so will the birds. Quite a few Temminck’s Stint were seen

Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii)
Common Snipe numbers were also encouraging

Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
A 1-cy Common Redshank that could be challenging if you are not familiar with  this plumage and legs that are not bright red

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)

There were big numbers of Dunlin, with most already in non-breeding plumage

Dunlin (Calidris alpina)

I watched a feeding flock (over 20 birds) of Pied Avocets in one of the shallow pans

Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
A 1-cy Red-backed Shrike perched on the fence near one of the pools

Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)
A distant Long-legged Buzzard in the heat haze

Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus)
In one of the deeper more protected pools, I found a few male Northern Shoveler's in eclipse plumage

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

In a quiet pool that had a lot of concentrated fish (since it was drying out), I found a hunting Squacco Heron successfully filling up on small fish

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

Whilst watching the Heron, I noticed that a Little Crake had popped up between some reeds and was happily preening itself

Little Crake (Porzana parva)
Later I found another Squacco Heron with very different plumage, before heading off

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

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