14 December 2014

A mixed bag

Week 46, 14 November 2014 - Sulaibikhat and Jahra Pools Reserve

I was able to get out for a few hours in the afternoon (which made a change from early morning birding) and started at the outfall in Sulaibikhat; it was heaving with wintering Common Black-headed Gulls and a few larger white-headed Gulls amongst them.

Masses of Common Black-headed Gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
The next stop was near Entertainment City in Doha where earlier Neil had found Finsch's Wheatear - luckily I was able to connect to the same bird, but it proved elusive and kept it's distance using any available perch to have some elevation. No toilet humour, please!

Male Finsch's Wheatear (Oenanthe finschii)

Last stop was Jahra Pools which has water, extensive reed beds and is looking good for the coming winter. Late afternoon in the reserve creates a few challenges from a photographic perspective as for many of the pools you have the low winter sun in front of you. In one of the open marshy areas there were good numbers of waders; primarily Dunlin, but also numbers of Little Stint

A vocal Little Stint (Calidris minuta)

Squabbling Little Stint's (Calidris minuta)
and a single Temmincks's Stint

Temminck's Stint (Calidris minuta)
In the same area, I watched what I assume was a family of Pied Kingfishers and managed to catch some mid-air interaction and squabbling between them

Mid-air squabble; Pied Kingfishers (Ceryle rudis)

I found at 3 male Citrine Wagtails, each with differing plumage's.

One of the 3 Citrine Wagtails (Motacilla citreola) seen

A vocal Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)

as well as a late Yellow Wagtail

A late Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flava)
Near the outfall, a Purple Heron passed by overhead

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
In the pools, I captured a few of the duck species present; Northern Pintail

Male Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) in the late afternoon
a male Northern Shoveller in eclipse plumage

Male Northern Shoveller (Anas clypeata)
and a Eurasian Teal

Female Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
and the Near Threatened Ferruginous Duck that has bred and been resident all through this and last year. I quite like the concentric ring frame around the duck.

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)
I have yet to capture a Grebe, Moorhen or Coot running across the water in panic - against the light, this Coot is the best I have managed so far. So, this action shot is still work in progress

Departing Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
As the sun started to dip toward the horizon (and it does so pretty early now), an Eurasian Sparrowhawk was seen looking for a opportune snack before bed.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
A Western Osprey came in to roost for the night

Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) roosting for the night
A female Caspian Stonechat looked serene in the warm glow of the late afternoon sun

Female Caspian Stonechat (Saxicola m. hemprichii)

Female Caspian Stonechat (Saxicola m. hemprichii) in the golden hour

and lastly a Daurian Shrike that had found it's perch for the night, before I headed home for my dinner.

1st year Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)