Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A quail in the hospital

The hospital gardens at Benghazi Medical Centre where I work are beautifully maintained. There are a haven for birds too.

I often take my camera in and occasionally my binoculars. During the shorter days at this time of year, I can have up to about 15 minutes in the morning and evening to find birds (work pressure permitting).

There are always great grey shrike, house sparrow, laughing dove and pigeon. There are often kestrel flying over head. But from September to April there is much more. There are both passage and wintering birds hiding in the bushes. 

quail near the canteen at Benghazi Medical Centre

I have seen plenty of spotted flycatcher, willow warbler, common redstart and whinchat on passage and wintering  robin, and stonechat. I know there are other more elusive birds there which given more time or luck I could identify and photograph.

My most unlikely find was last night when just before the light failed I saw a quail under one of the mini-hedges. I could have got closer if a cat hadn't decided to chase the bird off to another part of the gardens.

gardens of Benghazi Medical Centre

Quail passes through north Africa on a broad front -dodging the hunters as it does so. I don't know how many stay the winter in Libya. A few have been recorded by the UN winter wetlands count and I have seen this one!  It's another bird to look out for over the next four months and to find the extent of wintering.

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