03 March 2020

A morning at the Pools

Week 08; 22 February 2020 - Jahra Pools Reserve

I decided to spend the morning at Jahra Pools Reserve, work it pretty hard and give myself time to try and get some good images of the birds present.

The Western Osprey was the first bird I saw after entering the reserve just after 6am, light was still low as it circled above the reeds and hidden pools. I stopped the car and with luck the bird circled closer to me, giving a few photo opportunities

Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) head on

A Little Egret was hunting in the next pool and was completely focused on the job at hand

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Not far off, a small flock of White-tailed Lapwing stood in the same pool soaking up the early morning sun

White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus)

Green Sandpiper numbers were encouraging

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)

I spent a great deal of time at the main pool and with patience and the sun behind me managed to get images of most of the waterfowl present - great fun swinging the heavy piece of glass trying to follow them as the whipped by. There were fair numbers of Common Pochard

Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)

Not so many Ferruginous Duck

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)

Northern Shoveler drakes were impressive in this light

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

Whilst the flock of three Tufted Ducks were also still present

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

A little later a Greater Spotted Eagle cruised over the pool, putting everything up.

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga)

Including this Great Cormorant, even though they are similar in size - respect for the predator!

Continental Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sinensis)

On the way to the beach, I caught a glimpse of a Crake disappearing into the undergrowth. I parked and waited - after 20-minutes it re-appeared and I enjoyed watching it forage quite relaxed for the next 20-minutes

Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana)

This strategy paid off, as a Moustached Warbler also popped out of the reeds for a brief moment

Moustached Warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon)

Carrying on to the beach, I had a Red-rumped Swallow perched on the boundary fence

Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica)

The tide was too far out (as usual), so didn't spend too much time - in the desert area a distant Great Grey Shrike (Steppe) was seen.

Great Grey Shrike (Steppe) (Lanius excubitor lahotra)

By now it was warming up, so I headed to the gate, but was interrupted by a Common Kingfisher hunting from the boundary fence. Again, just switched off the car and watched the show. The position and light weren't ideal for photographs, but took these few record images. The Kingfisher was actually catching small invertebrates and not small fish, as I initially thought.

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

A Water Pipit, transitioning to summer plumage was on the fence above the Kingfisher seemingly bemused by it's antics

Caucasian Water Pipit (Anthus s. coutelli)

A great morning at JPR with close to 50 species seen

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