Tuesday, 22 October 2013

January/February 2013 round up.

A new year, but not much birding, as our lives are increasingly dominated by Carol & her chemotherapy treatment. She is coping well, but it is very hard & difficult for her.
The 5th saw me kick off the year at Al Wathba Lake. Plenty going on, 1100 Greater Flamingos is quite a sight and at least 50 nests were active! Great stuff! 22 Black-necked Grebes were on one small pool.

Black-necked Grebe

Common Shelduck

 73 Common Shelduck (this is one of the best wintering sites in the country for this species). Raptors included 2 Great Spotted Eagles and a Peregrine. 

Pied Avocet

47 Pied Avocet graced the shallows. I then went to Yas Island in late afternoon. The Black-winged Kite was perched in its favourite tree & 2 Blyth’s Pipits were on the golf course.

 Blyth's Pipit. 
Photos courtesy of Nick Moran.

I didn't do much birding for the rest of the month – a quick trip to Al Ain on 31st produced a fine Spotted Redshank at the Water Treatment Plant.

Great Knot

The 1st February saw me checking the waders at Khor Al Beidae. Among the commoner throng were 13 Great Knot and surprisingly in winter, a flock of 27 Terek Sandpipers.

The next weekend on 8th I was working the main Al Ain sites again. 

Sand Partridge

Hooded Wheatear

Blue Rock Thrush

 All the usual species were seen: Sand Partridge; Hooded; Hume’s & Red-tailed Wheatears; Blue Rock Thrush & Plain Leaf Warbler. 2 Red crested Pochards were still sleeping on Zakher Pools, presumably feeding at night. A run down to Al Qua Fodder Fields produced the wintering Steppe Buzzard – a rare find in the UAE. And that was it for the month, as we then flew out for a family holiday to our home in South Africa. 

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