Saturday, 19 May 2012

Exploring the Mountains & a pelagic trip!

It is Saturday 19th & I am still in bed at 8 am! A first for everything, I suppose! I have planned to go with Mark & Oscar for a quick trip in to the mountains to look for Trumpeter Finch, on our way to Kalba for a rendezvous with Abdulla.

The unusual sight of a watery Shawkha Dam!
We first search around Shawkha Dam. It is full of water, which is a surprise! 3 pairs of Red-wattled Lapwings are breeding, together with a pair of Little Ringed Plovers. A few Desert larks are drinking, but no Trumpeters.

Oscar & Mark birding the barren landscape.
The signs have no effect, as there is no enforcement -
the mountains & wadis are covered in litter!
Oscar, still smiling after
 yesterday's triumph!
We move on to the coast & check the Fujairah Port Beach. 5 Persian Shearwaters offshore & a host of Sooty Gulls, a few each of White cheeked & Common Terns. A few Sanderlings play hide & seek among the waves. pretty quiet really.

Persian Shearwater
We meet up with everyone else, & board the boat. It is very quiet! A lone Sooty Shearwater is in full moult & looks very folorn in the merciless heat. He sure is a long way from home, which ever way he has come!

Sooty Shearwater - a regular spring migrant
 in small numbers, in the NW Indian Ocean.
This bird is in very heavy moult.
Is it possible that they come all this way,
 to while away this time in these calm waters?

The distinctive silvery underwing, can clearly be seen.

The odd Persian Shearwater & the odd Red necked Phalarope, but not much else to be seen. Then a shout goes up! Dolphins heading this way! A pod of around 50+ dance around us giving great views. They are Long nosed Common Dolphins. Everyone on board enjoys their antics. But then it is over.
Long nosed Common Dolphins.

Possibly regular in this patch of ocean?

This pod was at least 50 strong.

We head further out to sea, but no seabirds. We come around close to the shore & immediately pick up Bridled tern flocks feeding. Right at the death is a Brown (Common) Noddy feeding with them. But the light is fading & although it comes close, my shots are poor.
A fine adult Brown (Common) Noddy.
We dock & begin the long drive home. England doing quite well in the first test match at Lords, (I get up dates from Carol & Neil). I feel a bit down. I expected a little more action at sea. This is my last trip for six weeks, back on the boat at the end of June. There are still a host of seabirds I need for my year list, to have any chance of success.

1 species added (290 species total): 550 kms travelled.

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