24 November 2019

Winter visitors in the west

Week 45; 09 November 2019 - Al Abraq

It is always worth checking Al Abraq in the west in early winter, although the long drive can also be hit and miss. Nevertheless, with autumn migration now over, it means no shooters and when you have the farm to yourself, it is most enjoyable - even if it is quiet.

Now that the weather is cooler, I park my car and walk and the first bird I had was a Black-throated Thrush perched high in a tree to get the first rays of sun

Black-throated Thrush (Turdus atrogularis)

I still get a kick out of seeing European Robin in the desert as Christmas gets closer; although it was in cover, this one was quite confiding and it is the first image I have of one in full song

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

White Wagtails and Caucasian Water Pipits have arrived on mass

Caucasian Water Pipit (Anthus s. coutelli)

A surprise was another juvenile Common Cuckoo, one always has to wander about the origin of these late birds - since most have already passed through in September. We suspect these late birds could be of eastern origin

Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)

A Namaqua Dove was sitting on an exposed branch enjoying the morning sun

Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis)

The birding was relatively quiet, but I was quite surprised at the number of butterflies around for this time of year - still Painted Lady are the most common, but I also had Desert White/Desert Bath White

Desert White (Pontia glauconome)

the gorgeous Salmon Arab

Salmon Arab (Madais fausta)

and the less often seen, Blue-spotted Arab

Blue-spotted Arab (Colotis phisadia)

Along with a smart Brown Playboy

Brown Playboy (Deudorix antalus)

This was also the first time I have seen a Damselfly this far away from permanent water - I suspect this is Evan's Bluetail 

Evans' Bluetail (Ischnura evans)

Not sure of this Dragonfly species?

Dragonfly sp.

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