17 December 2012

Bird of the day in the South

Week 51, 12 December 2012 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City (Click to enlarge image)

I was back down at the Sea City, this time on the northern side of the project. Fortunately, sea conditions were a little better this week and we avoided getting as wet as we did on the last visit.

The mid-week visits are great as there is no pedestrian traffic on the beaches, nor jet-ski/boat traffic on the lagoons.

Cruising out slowly from the jetty produced a few birds on the pristine beaches, here a lone Caspian Gull that appeared to have an injured leg

Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)
A Common Greenshank was seen feeding in the shallows

Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Great Cormorants are now seen all over the project, this one still roosting on a lamp post.

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
The bird of the day and a real surprise was finding a Great Crested Grebe swimming and fishing in and around some Great Cormorants. As far as I know this species has not been recorded this far south and interesting that there is also a single bird still at Jahra Pools, north of Kuwait City.

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
Off-shore there were still two Socotra Cormorants on the buoy, along with Great Cormorants

Socotra Cormorants (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) and Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
On the beaches near the Power Station, we had Kentish Plover

Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
And a pale form Indian Reef Heron

Pale form Indian Reef Heron (Egretta g. schistacea)
Along with a few Slender-billed Gulls

Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei)
Surprisingly there were very few large white-headed Gulls today, perhaps yesterday's strong winds and dust storm played a hand in this.

On the way back to the jetty, we had a dark form Indian Pond Heron near the Khiran Marina

Dark form Indian Reef Heron (Egretta g. schistacea)
Followed by a single Grey Plover foraging on the beach.

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Driving back home I noted that the desert is turning 'sparsely green' following the recent winter rains.

Change of colour in the desert

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