22 December 2012

Gull fest in the South

Week 52, 20 December 2012 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City (Click to enlarge image)

The rain continues and we have now exceeded the annual rainfall of last year, so this could bode well for a good spring migration and breeding season in 2013.

I was out on the water exploring some of the new lagoons at the project in intermittent rain. Most of the birds seen today were Gulls and as hard as I try, I still find them challenging to id - even with the luxury of viewing the image on my laptop surrounded by field guides. So, I really do admire those birders who can easily identify the challenging species in the field.

I found a flock of mixed Gulls that had roosted on the beach and the most were Heuglin's and a single Caspian

Heuglin's (Larus f. heuglini) and Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)

Heuglin's Gulls (Larus f. heuglini)

Here the Caspian in flight

Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)

Followed by the Heuglin's

Heuglin's Gull (Larus f. heuglini)

Heuglin's Gull?
Later I found another Gull that I am unsure about, perhaps a Steppe Gull?

Possible Steppe Gull (Larus f. barabensis)??
After getting wet on the lagoons, I drove to the south of the Khor to explore the desert, finding a few Wheatear's and a flock of Meadow Pipits foraging in the newly grown vegetation from the recent rains.

Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)

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