25 August 2014

A glut of shorebirds

Week 32, 09 August 2014 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City

There was strong wind and rising dust for the visit to the desert and coastal areas of Sea City which were less than ideal conditions to be out with digital equipment and no eye drops.

Exploring some of the norther lagoons a few Socotra Cormorants were found inside the project which is pretty unusual for a generally off-shore species

Air drying 1st year Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)

Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)
I found a mixed flock of Bar-tailed Godwit's and Eurasian Whimbrel on the lee side of the lagoon

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)

Eurasian Whimbrel (Numenius p. phaeopus)
Here a Bar-tailed Godwit and Eurasian Whimbrel flying together to show the not so subtle differences in structure and bill shape and size

Eurasian Whimbrel (Numenius p. phaeopus) and Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)
South of Khiran many shore and sea birds were found sheltering out of the wind. Again, a few Terns were found - Lesser Crested

Lesser Crested Tern (Sterna bengalensis)
and a family of White-cheeked Terns who were getting their youngsters ready for their imminent departure

White-cheeked Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)
The predominant shorebird today was Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)
with fewer Lesser Sand Plover's seen

Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius atrifrons)
The smaller shorebirds consisted of Little Stint

Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Dunlin and Curlew Sanpiper's

Dunlin (Calidris alpina) and Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) for comparative purposes

Sanderling (Calidris alba)
and Terek Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)
and the only passerine of note seen was a Yellow Wagtail that dropped onto the beach to get out of the wind.

1st year Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flava)
No more coastal and Kuwait birding for the next 10-days as I head off to the South African lowveld and then some time up on the highveld catching up with our wonderful wildlife and then family and friends.

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