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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Green Mubazzara 25th September

Drove the 1.5 hour journey down to Al Ain early this morning to chance my luck with a Baillon's Crake !  Not too many records of these little fellas in the UAE.  Set off at 6am only to find thick Fog for the first 40km,  slowed me down somewhat,  but as I headed inland the Fog soon dispersed.  Green Mubazzara is an area of parkland just at the foot of Jebel Hafeet and is always good during Migration !  Today was no exception.

A fine Hooded Wheatear pair were the first birds I encountered, so I spent some time with them before looking for the crake.

Hooded Wheatear
(Oenanthe monacha)
Hooded Wheatear
(Oenanthe monacha)

Whilst following this pair around I also stumbled across a lovely Pied Wheatear sitting on a fence watching the  Hooded Wheatear scrap with 2 Hume's Wheatear over territory !

Pied Wheatear
(Oenanthe pleschanka)

Finally took myself to the location where the crake had been found and set up the camera.  Didnt have to wait too long before the young Baillon's crake made an appearence,  although the area was quite dark.  For that reason I had to work quite hard to get anything remotely decent - but reasonably happy I guess.

Baillon's Crake
(Porzana pusilla )

Baillon's Crake
(Porzana pusilla )



Other birds seen during the morning included,


1 Common Kestrel
3 Blue Rock Thrush
1 Rock Thrush
2 Isabeline Wheatear
3 Lesser Whitethroat
2 Graceful Prinia
1 Spotted Flycatcher

Blue Rock Thrush
(Monticola solitarius)

Blue Rock Thrush
(Monticola solitarius)

Off to Prague now on a business trip for a week so probably no more reports until I get back.

As always for more pics please visit Mike at Pbase


Around the UAE 24th September

I travelled around the UAE quite a lot this weekend.   Probably the nicest find for me was a lovely Masked Shrike right by my office.  I saw this bird whilst going for a coffee on Thursday.  Made sure I got to the office early Friday morning (24th)  The bird showed really well and was not too shy,  preferred sitting on top of a rock rather than a tree which was good !   

Masked Shrike
(Lanius nubicus)
Masked Shrike
(Lanius nubicus)



Later in the afternoon I drove over to Ajban near Abu Dhabi, there are some farms located here and I had heard reports of up to 6 Egyptian Nightjar.  With GPS co-ordinates in hand I set off.  Fortunately I fairly quickly discovered 3 of the birds,  2 of which I managed to flush as my fieldcraft wasn't particularly good !  :-)

Egyptian Nightjar
Caprimulgus aegyptius
Egyptian Nightjar
Caprimulgus aegyptius


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Qarn Nizwa, UAE 18.09.10

On the lookout for migrants I spent the day travelling around the UAE,  noted in excess of 60 species - not too bad !   Not too many pictures today but still made a lifer - Golden Oriole seen fleetingly at this location - no picture that I am proud of I'm afraid :-(

Other birds seen here were :

Isabeline Wheatear
Red-Tailed Wheatear
Pied Wheatear

 Pied Wheatear
(Oenanthe pleschanka)

Pied Wheatear
(Oenanthe pleschanka)
Pied Wheatear
(Oenanthe pleschanka)





Pelagic - East Coast , UAE 17.9.10

Ventured on another Pelagic on Friday afternoon, finally the temperatures are starting to come down, barely touching 40c now at mid-day. At first birds were scarce, but after an hour or so we came across good numbers of fish and of course birds. I saw the largest number of Persian Shearwater so far , in excess of 150 ! We also had around 13 Brown Noddy and 500 Bridled Tern, many of which were first year. For me the highlight (as I haven't experienced them before) were a small group of 6 Red-necked Phalarope, a beautiful little bird !

 Red-Necked Phalarope
(Phalaropus lobatus)
 Red-Necked Phalarope
(Phalaropus lobatus)
 Red-Necked Phalarope
(Phalaropus lobatus)

Red-Necked Phalarope
(Phalaropus lobatus)


Brown Noddy
(Anous stolidus )


This is the boat we have hired for the next pelagic !!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fujairah National Dairy Farm 10.9.10

Had a drive over to the North East coast on Friday to visit FNDF,  known for it's migrant drop ins.
First light as I approached Dibba revealed 12 Brown-Necked Ravens flying in formation.   Some settled on a nearby fence before heading off back into the desert.   Arrived at the farm and over the course of the next couple of hours noted the following :

Spotted Flycatcher
Lesser Grey Shrike
Southern Grey Shrike
Isabeline Wheatear
Pied Wheatear
Ruff
Wood Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper
Cattle Egret
Citrine Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
Temminck's Stint
Pale Crag Martin
Sand Martin
Barn Swallow
Menetries Warbler
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
Bengal Weaver
Indian Roller
European Roller
Crested Lark
Bank Myna

Pied Stonechat was noted by a friend of mine but I dipped on that one :-(

Brown-necked Raven
(Corvus ruficollis)


Teminck's Stint
(Calidris temminckii )


Citrine Wagtail
(Motacilla citreola)


Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
(Iduna pallida)


Curlew Sandpiper
(Calidris ferruginea)


Bengal Weaver
(Ploceus benghalensis)





Thursday, September 9, 2010

Caspian Plover and Short-toed Lark 7.9.10

After a tip-off I managed to get to the Dubai Pivot fields in time to catch the last light of the day and a Caspian Plover to go with it ! (My first). Added bonus in the 30 minutes I had were two Short-toed Lark passing through also. Was a pretty good 30 mins :-)    If you listen carefully at the end of the Plover video you will hear the Blue-Cheeked Bee-Eaters that have hit the UAE in good numbers this year.

We now have a 4 day weekend and plenty of migrants about - just gotta go find them !

 Caspian Plover
(Charadrius asiaticus)





 Greater Short-toed Lark
(Calandrella brachydactyla)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wadi Helo, UAE 4.9.10 - Sand Partridge

Spent a few hours Saturday morning staking out a water pool in the Hajar Mountains ,  specifically Wadi Helo.
With temperatures around 45c in the Wadi  I was hoping Sand partridge (known in this area) would come to the pool.  Fortunately it worked out and after one hour a couple of adventurous females made their way to the water, the males however, were a little more wary and never quite got there !  If you are interested in the location it can be found here 24°56'31.22"N 56°13'0.01"E   Just copy into Google Earth.


 

As always please check out Pbase for more images from this trip.
 
 Sand Partridge
(Ammoperdix heyi)
 Sand Partridge
(Ammoperdix heyi)
 Sand Partridge
(Ammoperdix heyi)