Tuesday, 30 March 2010

More nightingales in Janzour

Nightingale in Janzour, West Tripoli, March 30th

I first saw a nightingale in Libya about a week ago. Since then I have seen about a dozen and heard many more. And yet until recently it was not even acknowledged to be in Libya. In the new collins guide the distribution map shows a blank. But at the moment the nightingale is travelling through in great numbers and obviously in such varied places as the railway line, Tripoli and a proverbial middle- of- nowhere wadi near Tarhunah (three seen last Friday).

So I was very pleased and impressed that African Bird Club revised checklist includes this bird. Slowly but surely the birding world's collective knowledge of Libya is improving. Nevertheless, I felt I had to photograph one (see above) to prove my point! I have spent quite a few fruitless hours on this self appointed task. In the end one obliged near the railway line in Tripoli.

I'm still walking the (future) rail line when I have the odd hour or two since its the closest natural habitat to my flat. I am still occasionally seeing new species there too. The latest additions have been a little owl which took a typical corner position on a near-by house and pallid swift. Several pallid swift have joined the barn swallow skimming the air for insects over a well irrigated barley plot.

Little owl on look out Janzour, West Tripoli

One new migrant was seen earlier this week. It was a pied flycatcher. This is well documented as migrant here.

I managed to get a long distance shot of a blackbird this week too. This bird is not at all common as a wintering species mainly because they is so little non-eucalyptus woodland.

blackbird, Janzour, West Tripoli, March 29th

There have been some more subtle changes in the locality since last week. The turtle dove is proving to be a lot less jumpy and more amenable to photography. Maybe it is because it is not being shot at unlike along most parts of its migratory route. Although many Libyans still think hunting is a good pastime not many have access to guns. Gun control is strict here. This is to be applauded.

Turtle dove, Janzour, West Tripoli

On the way back from the railway line to my flat I walk past a water tower in Central Janzour. This is a guarenteed place to see pallid swift since near all of the crevices are occupied by families of pallid swift. The tower really is an urban simulation of a cliff face! I am privileged to have them as neighbours.

Water tower, central Janzour

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