26 August 2015

Green Island to Jahra

Week 32, 07 August 2015 - Green Island and Jahra Pools

After a few games of tennis starting at 6:30 (yes, were mad enough to play all through the year!), I headed to Green Island around 9am to check the gardens for migrants and butterflies.

Even by this time, it was brutally hot and very draining - so I didnt stay long. In the short time, I did see what is probably a single 1st year Black-headed Bunting. Although when there is only one bird on it's own - there is a possibility to consider other options; it didn't stay long enough though to see any other salient features.

Probable 1st year Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala)
Following up on a distinctive call, I eventually got onto a 1st year Rose-coloured Starling 'panting' in the shade

1st year Rose-coloured Starling (Pastor roseus)
Green Island is also the site of the 2nd localised population of Western Pygmy Blue butterflies, of which there were quite a few

Western Pygmy Blue (Brephidium exilis)

By now I was wilting badly and in desperate need of a cold drink, so took refuge in an Asian restaurant to re-hydrate.

Later in the afternoon Neil Tovey and I agreed to meet at Jahra Pools. Why you ask? I asked myself the same thing on the way...but really it was to try and find Nightjars at dusk; no luck with that either!

Pretty much the usual suspects on the drive around the pools; Grey-headed Swamphen - this a portrait of a bird that was too close for my prime lens!

Grey-headed Swamphen (Porphyrio  p. poliocephalus)
Numbers of Little Stint

Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
A few more Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)
A mix of adult and 1st year Little Grebe's

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
However, the most entertainment was given watching an unbelievably patient Squacco Heron successfully hunting - whilst I sweated profusely in a car with the engine turned off to reduce vibration whilst taking this sequence below.

A sequence of a stunning Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) catching and eating a small fish

Job done and time to head home Nightjar less!

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