Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Spoonbill steal the show at Wadi Kaam

The dynamic trio of Ibrahim, Andy and Helen visited Wadi Kaam - 130 kilometres east of Tripoli) again last Saturday. I really wish I had been with them.  They met a flock of about 30 spoonbill!

I've checked the four UN winter wetland count surveys that I have copies of and they have never reported the bird there.

close up of some of the spoonbill at Wadi Kaam by Ibrahim Madi

The flock is the average size of those who migrate and I suspect strongly that they are nearly ready to do this.

distance shot showing most of the flock by Ibrahim Madi

I featured spoonbill in my blog of September 23rd. I wrote then that about one in three of central and eastern Europe's spoonbills probably winter in Libya. Though most migratory information is of Dutch birds which mostly winter in Morocco.

Grey heron were present at Wadi Kaam too.

kingfisher at Wadi Kaam by Ibrahim Madi

Some other winter visitors are still around including the kingfisher above and the meadow pipit below.

meadow pipit at Wadi Kaam by Ibrahim Madi

Ibrahim is proving that he is a mean photographer since he got his new camera. Stonechat are common birds but very difficult to photograph because of their small size. This picture is also on the Libyan Bird Watching facebook page.

stonechat by Ibrahim Madi

Spring is starting to arrive at least if the number of barn swallow in northern Libya are taken into consideration. Simultaneously we me seeing many in Cyrenica, plenty were seen in and near Wadi Kaam.

barn swallow near Wadi Kaam in early February by Ibrahim Madi

There is a large breeding population at the Roman ruins at Leptis Magna (close to Wadi Kaam) which leave at the end of October and return in early February. This is not up to Benghazi standards when plenty over-winter but it is very short time to be away compared with most European venues.

common redstart at Leptis Magna by Ibrahim Madi

And to confirm that the passage has begun Ibrahim, Andy and Helen noticed the above common redstart at Leptis Magna.

Passage here we come.

1 comment:

  1. dear Robert,

    thanks for writing this blog. I visited Libya only once, in July 1993, surveying the breeding Lesser Crested Terns. On that brief trip we only visited the coast and I always wondered what the winter birding further south was going to be like. It seems to be as good as I imagined.

    In your last post there is a picture of a Meadow Pipit that looks a bit "off" It could just be me but the streaking on the flanks, the shape and blackness of the breast spots and malar region as well as the semi-plain back and pale lores all remind me of Siberian Buff-bellied Pipit (japonicus). Worth a second look I think

    best wishes,
    Pim Wolf, The Netherlands