Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A wet day at Temimi - part 2

This blog is the second in a series of seven which report on my trip to Jaghboub Oasis in the desert. On this trip we travelled eastward from Benghazi to Tobruk along the coast and then south east into the desert.

Today on I report on how we were making such good progress travelling between Derna and Tobruk (along the coast) on Friday that we doubled back a few kilometres to visit the west side of Temimi wetland.

I had been there before but last time it was a warm, dry day. On Friday it was wet and cool.

At west Temimi, in the pools close to the road the spotted crake were still there and we saw several common snipe. We also glimpsed several curlew like birds but possibly smaller which were very elusive. I didn't get a good look at them and which I can only speculate in my dreams.

Near these pools were also white wagtail and grey wagtail as before.

This time we decided to explore a bit wider. This meant walking round the south eastern edge of the wetland. It was far too wet without wader gear to walk in directly and the mosquitoes were taking no prisoners.  

kestrel, west temimi

It was immediately obvious there were many birds kestrel and marsh harrier. Given the number of marsh harrier I can conclude there must be very large numbers of passerines present too.

a wet west temimi

I counted eight marsh harrier. Once again there were no adult males among them. I have speculated before on this blog that they all go south of the Sahara while the juveniles and some females are more likely to stay north in winter.

one of the marsh harrier

There were quite a few black redstart here like much of Cyrenaica at this time of year.

black redstart, temimi

There were also plenty of grey heron and a few little egret sighted. There are no doubt many other birds but they are simply unaccessible without waders or a boat. For example we heard moorhen again.


I want to give a special word to the kingfisher we saw. I have said before that the Collins guide doesn't have this bird in Cyrenaica at all. I have been seeing it regularly at all the wetlands I have visited. This was the furtherest east observation yet. I suspect the only reason I havent seen it further east still is that I haven,t birded the coast further east!  There plenty of more wetlands we by-passed as we zoomed on from here to Tobruk. We have to remember the main reason for the trip was to visit a desert oasis not to bird the far east coast of Libya.

Matt and Mariol

Finally an early tribute to Matt and Mariol who came on the whole trip with me. They are not birders though I have hopes particularly with Mariol. They had to put up with lots of mud and mosquito bites at Temimi and they said they enjoyed the place! Here they are above in the wet.

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