01 October 2013

Birds and Hounds

Week 38, 19 September 2013 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City (Click to enlarge image)

Today I headed south to Sea City near Khiran and spent most of the morning on a boat as my mode of transport. Migrants are not as abundant in the south as they are in the north.

However, I did find an early winter arrival in the form of a Caspian Gull

Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)
A juvenile Little Tern was seen on the lagoon beach and I must say their numbers in the south have been down, as compared to previous years

Juvenile Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

A distant flock of 7 migrating Glossy Ibis was a new species for me in Khiran

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
The undoubted highlight was watching a Western Osprey hunting (unsuccessfully) in the lagoons of the Sea City project - it is just a magnificent, bold looking raptor.

Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

Whilst on the boat, we spooked a good number of Hound Needlefish (I really like their scientific names!) which lept out of the water and often tail-walked for quite a distance and at quite a speed. I took this as a photographic challenge, not that a naked 600mm was the best lens to choose for this exercise (the 400mm would have been far easier to handle). This few images were the best of my attempts, but for sure I will try again with a more appropriate lens.

Airborne Hound Needlefish (Tylosaurus crocodilus)

Hound Needlefish like a bullet at high speed

They just explode out of the water

Tail walk
Once off the boat, I checked out some other areas finding a Little Egret hunting in the main trench

Litte Egret (Egretta garzetta)
As well as Common Redshank, which is generally more uncommon in the south than it is in the north.

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)

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