Saturday, 28 January 2012

In search of the Ruddy Quacker (again)!

Friday saw me curled up in bed, being head butted by our cat, exactly one minute before the alarm went off! Cat wanted food & I needed coffee. Robin arrived exactly on time & we were off, through the fog, to Al Ain.

Jacky found a Ruddy Shelduck last week. We had looked for it once but dipped. It turns out mainly to looking in the wrong place! This time we had good information from Huw & our hopes were high! It was a little chilly as we scoped the lake, plenty of ducks including 2 Ferruginous, but our bird was conspicious by its absence! As we walked away I glanced back to talk to Robin & glimpsed a flash of chestnut & white, landing on the pond. We soon had it firmly in the scope & it gave great views.

Ruddy Shelduck.
Photo courtesy of Huw Roberts.

A fine portrait shot from Huw.
On our way back to the car, close scrutiny of a small flock of Water Pipits revealed a fine Buff-bellied Pipit, among them. This could be the first record for Al Ain? Huw arrived and we arranged to meet Jacky at GM. Thanks Jacky & Huw, nice one!

Green Mubazzarah was quite productive, with Robin & Jacky finding a huddled up Eurasian Wryneck, which was a welcome addition to the year list. We all moved along to the back wadi, but it was strangely quiet. However, the weather was by now just great & we all enjoyed our birding together.

Eurasian Wryneck
Photo courtesy of Dave Clark.

Robin, Jacky & Huw birding the back wadi.

The pool at the end of the wadi, is once again full.
Derrick had just arrived back in the UAE  from a very successful bird marathon around southern Africa, where he even managed to photograph our old house in Mutare, Zimbabwe. It is looking a bit in need of tender loving care these days!

Our old house in Mutare, Zimbabwe.
Looking a little bit different, from when we lived there.
Photo courtesy of Derrick Wilby.

The newly enlarged Zakker Sea!

The combination of deep blue sky and red sand,
 makes for an attractive setting.

He esconsed himself over looking Zakker Pools (or is it Zakker Sea these days)? He was looking for the Marbled Duck. We all joined him, but no joy over the duck. Birding was good but nothing new. The area of reeds where the Eurasian Bittern & the Moustached Warblers were is now cut off, its an island! Boat needed!

Robin, Derrick & I transferred our attention to the Al Ain Water Treatment Plant. By looking over the back wall, we recorded lots of duck and waders & right at the end, I spotted a lone Eurasian Golden Plover.

Jacky had now returned from his lunch (he lives nearby) and we drove around the back of Ain Al Faydah. A little bit of water present, but nothing worthwhile.

The view of Jebel Hafeet, from Ain Al Faydah.

A Black crowned Sparrow-lark was a year tick for me. Jacky, then took us to a new site, the Cement Factory Pools. A few things were noted, and it is certainly a site to keep an eye on, in the migration season.

Cement Factory Pools, a newly created
 waterbird habitat in Al Ain. 

Our last stop was Wadi Al Ain, but 4 Glossy Ibis proved to be the highlights. Thanks for your company and refreshments Jacky.

Robin & I arrived in MBZ City and he went off to his Burns Supper & whisky tasting evening! Thanks for your company Robin. I had a most welcome evening in with Carol. Sometimes it is nice, just to stay home!

3 species added (total 210): 420 kms travelled.

No comments:

Post a Comment