19 August 2019

Sucker for punishment

Week 34; 13 August 2019 - Sulaibikhat Bay

On the way to Sulaibikhat Bay, I stopped to refuel myself at McDonald's and buy some more water (this time I knew what to expect). Again, the timing for the receding high tide was far from perfect, as it was just after noon - but I arrived just as the tide was receding, so the foraging birds were much closer than yesterday.

That also restricted me to staying in the car, else they would all flush. But fortunately, I was the only mad person sitting next to the beach, in his car at the hottest time of the day. Most of the birds seen yesterday were present again today, except for the Broad-billed Sandpipers. 

Feeding in the shallows, I had Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea), Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus) and Little Stint (Calidris minuta)

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)


Dunlin (Calidris alpina) and Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

Terek Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

Colourful in flight

and a lone Eurasian Whimbrel

Eurasian Whimbrel (Numenius p. phaeopus)

Further out, the small flock of Crab-plover were foraging very successfully and efficiently to both feed themselves (with crabs, like their namesake of course) and some of this year's juveniles.

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola)

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola) and Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)

In fact, Slender-billed Gulls

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola) and Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei)

and some Western Reef Herons dropped in amongst them, perhaps to try and scavenge from the Plovers - but they seemed to  just watch and learn in awe!

Western Reef Heron (Egretta g. schistacea)

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola) and Western Reef Heron (Egretta g. schistacea) looking on

And another, Crab-plover is oblivious

A few Bar-tailed Godwit's dropped in

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)

Followed by Eurasian Curlew's (some with shorter bills than those seen yesterday)

Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Two Squacco Heron's also went up the coast whilst all others were flying down the coast

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

A Common Tern flew by tailing some Gull-billed Terns

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

It was only then that I noticed that a police car had pulled up next to me. The officer got out to come and inquire what I was doing, if everything was ok and if I needed anything. I guess since I was the only one along the stretch of coast in the mid-day sun, it did look odd - but I was appreciative of the fact that they came to check if I was ok.

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