My first observation was the water levels were lower. Remember the west part used to take the town's dirty water until two weeks ago when new pipes re-directed it.
My second thought was there were almost no ducks. Well I can explain that one later.
There were still plenty of dunlin. Sometimes seeing many of them is useful because they can act as some kind of marker which you can evaluate other birds from. What I mean is that if you see other birds you can measure their size and look relative to a dunlin. This was possible on Wednesday. In the middle of a dunlin group was one slightly bigger bird with a longer, thinner and straighter bill than them. it was also taller. It was a marsh sandpiper.
Like the other sandpipers, this one can be found in Libya in winter although most birds go south of the Sahara. Its not on the guidebook maps as a winterer here so once again you have to trust your own judgement. I was happy because it was my first picture of a wintering marsh sandpiper which is a less common winterer in north east Libya than green, wood or common.
long legs noticeable
Above is a picture of the same bird at the edge of the water. Note its long legs.
Some of the dunlin are shown above.
If you read this week's blog on Deryanah you might remember that I said that it had become apparent to me that in Libya common snipe are very common and that they seem to be in loose flocks.
One of the reasons to come back to Deryanah was to record this. I think I succeeded. See below, there are four common snipe right next to another wader.
four snipe and a wader
I confess when I took the photo I only saw two snipe, can you imagine my surprise when I got home and looked on the computer and found there were four.
another common snipe
In fact Deryanah is crawling with common snipe. Here is another one near where the dunlin were feeding.
I want ot return to my first observation that there were very few duck compared with all my recent visits. In fact all I saw was one ferruginous duck.
The reason is that illegal hunters are trying to shoot them. This is very disappointing. I took photos of their decoys. I would be very upset if I thought this blog was being used by them to identify places to hunt.
duck decoys planted by illegal hunters
If I find any evidence this blog is being used then I will stop naming the location of any ducks.
Finally I want to tell you I photographed the bluethroat I saw earlier in the week. They are much more confiding than their cousin the robin.
I have tried to impress through this blog how easy it is to see bluethroat in Libya in winter despite its non-appearance on the guidebook maps.