Monday, 2 August 2010

"Big Lake" Benghazi

Juvenile kentish plover - Al Thama, Benghazi  - late July

This lake is poshly called Al Thama in bird watching circles but the local map just calls it "Big Lake".  I visited there last in late May just after I arrived in Benghazi.  Then I found a lake stripped of all its surrounding vegetation presumably for some landscaping reason. However there is an island there connected by a a narrow causeway which sustained a great deal of bird life. Since last time, the little tern and kentish plover fledglings have matured. The house sparrow have formed a large mobile flock and the black winged stilt have disappeared.  Barn swallow were plying there trade as seemingly everywhere in Cyrenaica with water enough to attract insects.

a second view of a juvenile kentish plover - Al Thama, Benghazi - end July

The little egret were still there.

liitle egret at Al Thama, Benghazi- end July

The few coot previously to be seen were no where but thirty or so little grebe had arrived. If they have bred at the lake itself I think it would have been a miracle - without any real cover.  I can only imagine they bred at a less desirable spot near-by and moved in when the young ones started to grow up. 
little grebe - Al Thama, Benghazi, end July

The birds were very nervous. I managed to get a weak shot of one before it swam away.

little grebe- Al Thama, Benghazi, end July 

Finally my attention was drawn to a resting little tern out on a distant mini-island.  I am no expert on little tern nestlings but the bird to its right looks like a resting wader. If were a gambling man (and I'm not) I would say the bird looked decidedly like a wood sandpiper.

a distant photo of little tern and friend - Al Thama, Benghazi -end July

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