12 December 2012

Shorebirds in the south

Week 50, 05 December 12 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City (Click to enlarge image)

I was back down at this impressive project on a day that was overcast, mild but enjoyable weather for winter. I guess we have to accept that we cant always have ideal light.

Cruising around the lagoons, a couple of Common Ringed Plovers were seen feeding on the pristine beaches.

Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
I found a Great Cormorant that had just emerged triumphant after successfully  catching a fish on its underwater foray - it didn't stick around for me to watch it enjoy it's meager breakfast though.

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Most of the moulting large white-headed Gulls seen today were Heuglins; both  adults and 1cy birds

Heuglins Gull (Larus f. heuglini)

1cy Heuglins Gull (Larus f. heuglini) with a bill that looks out of proportion

A walk on one of the islands produced both Little Egrets and pale form Indian Reef Heron; here all 3 together for comparative purposes

Two Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta) and a pale form Indian Pond Heron (Egretta g. schistacea)
I saw a few Grey Herons, this is where they were!

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) footprints
Another comparative image, this one of both Greater and Lesser Sand Plovers together

Greater (Charadrius leschenaultii) and Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius atrifrons)
I saw a Squacco Heron fly in and I literally had to circumvent the Island twice to get onto it and get decent views to confirm that it was indeed a Squacco and not the much rarer Indian Pond Heron which has been recorded in Kuwait in winter.

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)
A quick foray off-shore in quite heavy seas got me drenched, but I did confirm that Socotra Cormorants were still present, I'm guessing that these two birds may just over-winter.

Overwintering Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)
It was then time to call it a day and make plans for a hot cup of coffee

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