The answer should have been blindingly obvious. I hadn't been visiting the right habitat. None of the wetlands I have visited (except at Ras Al Tin when I met a greater sand plover) have had sand bars.
sand bar separating fresh water (on right) at Garyounis from the sea (left - not seen)
So on Tuesday I visited the beach just north of the tourist village. During the winter, the water at permanent wetland there has swollen right up to the beach.
two sanderling at Garyounis beach
I came across a mixed group of waders. There were dunlin as usual but the single most numerous species was sanderling.
Furthermore the birds were quite tame and I was able to approach quite close. I am pleased with my photographs. Two sanderling are shown above.
a flying sanderling complete with sand on its chest
There were less little stint but they were also easy to photograph even though they keep moving! The one below (left) is noticeably much smaller than its neighbouring sanderling.
little stint (left) and sanderling (right)
A close up of a little stint is shown below. This bird was particularly tame. He came within two metres of me.
close up of a little stint at Garyounis
There are always a few kentish plover at Garyounis. They are local breeders. In summer I see them running on the sandy area which is currently under water.
kentish plover at Garyounis
I didn't spend any time visiting the in-land part of the wetland but I did notice two other species without trying. I saw a grey heron near the reeds and a greenshank in another pool.
greenshank at Garyounis
mixed gulls at Garyounis
Also at Garyounis were a hundred or so gulls of different types. I saw black- backed gull as well as black-headed gull (a couple in summer plumage) , slender- billed gull, Caspian/yellow legged gull.
As reported yesterday, black backed gull is not as common here as in Tripolitania.
mixed gulls at Ganfouda
Ten kilometres down the coast from Garyounis is Ganfouda. The is where
's main rubbish tip is located. It is also the location of 25,000 gulls in winter and the main attraction for any black backed gull in Cyrenacia. However the most common gull there by far is black headed gull. Over 15,000 winter each year. Benghazi
some of large number of gulls at Ganfouda
Two other species were present at Ganfouda in large numbers. There were starling and cattle egret.
sheltering cattle egret
While I was there the wind was very fierce. I came across 80 cattle egret sheltering in the scrub with their heads down! It took me six times to take a photo because the wind blurred each photo. I got a half decent shot in the end.