05 March 2016

Winter visitors have dropped in

Week 47, 21 November 2015 - Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City, Khiran

The temperatures have started to drop a little, especially early morning - so it is pleasant to be out.

Breakfast to go and I relished the sunrise and quietness of the desert whilst enjoying my McCoffee. Whilst driving slowly next to some standing water, I flushed a 'turdus' species - I know this doesn't sound right! 

But I managed to get a few images as it disappeared into the West and was able to pin it down as a Song Thrush (although I was secretly hoping it was something a little more special)

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
A pale form Western Reef Heron was foraging quietly in a sheltered pool.

Western Reef Heron (Egretta g. schistacea)
A few more winter visitors had arrived and these two species normally arrive at pretty much the same time; White Wagtail

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
And Water Pipit

Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)
As I was leaving this location, a few resident Crested Larks dropped in to drink, and I was able to isolate one with a nice 'clean' background

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
A couple of Desert Wheatears were seen in the open desert area

Male Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
I found a single and very skittish female Western Black Redstart in some acacia type habitat

Western Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
Out on the boat, the first of the large white-headed Gulls had also arrived - I suspect these may by Caspian - but moulting 1st year Gulls are not among my favourites

Possible Caspian Gulls (Larus cachinnans)

Once back on dry land, I checked the flowering Salt Cedar bushes, as I knew their flowers are favourites for Penduline Tit

Flowering Salt Cedar Tree (Tamarix aphylla)
I wasn't disappointed with a small flock of 7 birds; 

Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus)
As the Desert Wheatear's had arrived, it was obvious that I would encounter an Asian Desert Warbler, sooner rather than later!

Asian Desert Warbler (Sylvia nana)

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