Friday 5 November 2010

Yet more new water birds in Benghazi

In the same place where I saw the short-eared owl there were plenty of interesting water birds too.  

The most common water birds were dunlin and black-winged stilt but there were several other (arguably more exotic) species.

ringed plover and curlew sandpiper, north of Garyounis

This was close to where I reported ferruginous duck last week. However they have moved on. The pochard were still there and I saw my first black-necked grebe of the winter.

black-necked grebe, north of Garyounis

Black-necked grebe are common across most of the Libyan coast in winter.

golden plover, north of Garyounis

Although dunlin were the most common wader, there was lots of variety.  Several ringed plover and curlew sandpiper were present (see picture at the top of the blog). The latter bird was a bit surprising as it mostly winters south of the Sahara. I think the unseasonably warm weather has persuaded it to stay a while. I also saw one curlew.

There was also at least one golden plover (shown above) and three grey plover (not shown) which are both probably wintering birds..

common snipe, north of Garyounis

Once again it was easy to see common snipe. Why did I ever think this was difficult!

bar-tailed godwit

I also saw my second bar-tailed godwit of the winter. This is another candidate for the guide books to put on the map in Libya. Its missing from the maps at the moment.

whiskered tern with dunlin, north of Garyounis

This is another place where whiskered tern are abundant. I saw them on the wetland itself and on the sea near-by.

tree with starlings

Finally as I walked towards the city centre looking for a taxi I came upon a tree with hundreds of starling resting. I have blogged recently about the huge numbers here at the moment. The tree reminded me of a bee hive with starling coming and going in uncountable numbers. 

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