16 February 2015

Last outing of 2014

Week 51, 20 December 2014 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City

My last birding outing for this year, heading south and picking up breakfast on route.

Checking out the reed beds just after sunrise produced a few birds including a large flock of House Sparrows that had roosted in the reeds overnight.

Male House Sparrow's (Passer domesticus)
A Isabelline Wheatear was singing it's heart out as it warmed in the early morning sun

Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)
A duck that had roosted in an area of reeds with water exploded out, but I managed one image of it departing (the 1DM4 focus speed still surprises me) which allowed for later identification - Mallard

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
A small flock of Eurasian Penduline Tit's was an unexpected surprise but remained deep inside the reeds - so I was fortunate to get a few clear images as they gleaned their way through the reeds.

Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus)

Out on the boat, it was only typical wintering birds to be seen; Great Cormorants

Male Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

1st year Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) portrait
and Gulls - mostly Heuglin's

Heuglin's Gull (Larus f. heuglini)

and Steppe (hopefully)

Possible Steppe Gull (Larus f. barabensis)

Steppe Gull (Larus f. barabensis)
A single Eurasian Curlew was seen on the Sea City beach

Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)
Both forms of Western Reef Heron were also seen

Western Reef Heron (Egretta g. schistacea) dark form

Western Reef Heron (Egretta g. schistacea) pale form
Back on dry land, I found another small flock of Eurasian Penduline Tit's feeding on the flowering sabhka plants

Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus)
Asian Desert Warbler numbers seem to have increased this winter and are found with or without Desert Wheatears.

Asian Desert Warbler (Sylvia nana)
And just to make my day again!

Let's just shoot anything!

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