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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Great Bittern, Zakher Lake, Al Ain 23.12.11

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a good one !

No Blog for sometime due several reasons but mostly travelling and work.   I recently made a trip to Uganda and will try and get time to write about it.  This blog will focus on my very virst Eurasian Bittern which has now been residing in a Reed Bed at Zakher for close to 2 weeks.  Zakher lake used to be named Zakher pools but it has increased in size so much it is now most definitely a lake !   Most of the water is believed to be runoff from Al Ain City,  the water table there is very high and the amount of runoff that is created through things such as irrigation is now entering the Storm Drain system that empties into the lake.  Whilst this may give a headache to the local government it is now starting to become a wildlife haven,  although there has been massive loss of reed beds.  The one remaining reed bed now hosts several Little Bitterns, Moorhen, Reed Warblers and a Great Bittern.  This magnificnt bird is actually very friendly once it leaves the Reed Bed,  however it does not do that too often and in actual fact I had to waith 4 hours for my first viewing which lasted about 10 minutes,  it then disapperared back into the Reeds but re-appeared 2 hours later for another 10 minutes !   Here are some of the pics I managed during these little outings plus some pictures of other species I captured at the same place.


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 Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)

  Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)


  Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)


  Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)

Check out this video at 0.40,  very funny expressions from the Bittern :-)



Other birds on and around the lake included, Ferruginous Duck, Pochard, Mallard, Common Teal , Eurasian Coot, Black-crowned Night Heron and also one Marbled Duck (which I did not see unfortunately), Bluethroat, Reed Warblers, Desert Wheatear, Marsh Harriers.

 Blac-crowned Night Heron - Juvenile (Nycticorax nycticorax)


 Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

 Great Reed Warbler or Clamorous Reed Warbler ?

  Great Reed Warbler or Clamorous Reed Warbler ?


 Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)





3 comments:

  1. Brilliant collection Mike.

    I wish you a new year filled with prosperity, joy and happiness. Happy New Year!

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  2. Those are very nice images! My best is the Bluethroat. I wish you a happy new year!

    ReplyDelete