Thursday, 11 November 2010

Flamingoes are here

There are two lakes north of the main road and just south of the coast between New Brega and Old Brega. They are magical. The more easterly one is less saline and attracts more birds. It was here on last afternoon Friday we saw a flock of over 40 flamingo.

flamingo at a lake between New Brega and Old Brega

My guess is that they are newly arrived. Certainly there weren't there three weeks ago and I haven't seen any yet anywhere else. Most of the birds were juveniles. They have chosen well as this spot is quite isolated. We were very careful not to disturb them.

a closer shot of a few flamingo

The lake held several other waders too. There were common redshank close by the flamingo.


Over the other side of the lake near us were quite a few little stint and a smaller number of dunlin. It was here I saw my first turnstone of the season. This is a well reported wintering bird in Libya.


It was getting dark and this was the last call of the day. I would like to have stayed longer to have had more time looking at the passerines. I could hear plenty of hard "tac" noises of chats - not all the sounds were coming from robin.  There was at least one bluethroat.

the back of a bluethroat!

The bird was hopping around in low reed close to the lake side. I failed miserably to get a frontal photo though I did see it front-on. I have never got a good photo of a bluethroat and it is one of my goals for this winter. In fact it is becoming an obsession. It should be an achievable goal because contrary to the Collins guide book map the bird is regularly reported by the UN winter wetlands count.

red-backed shrike still in Libya

I blogged yesterday that Brega is warmer than Benghazi and the northern Cyrenaica coast. Indeed it's the most southerly point of the whole Medditerranean.  So its possible that birds winter here that don't winter anywhere else north of the Sahara. Certainly red-backed shrike are still around there (see picture above). 

willow warbler also still in Libya

Although most of the warblers I saw were chiffchaff, at least a few were willow warbler -which also almost completely winters south of the Sahara. It will be interesting to see what happens.

No comments:

Post a Comment