Saturday, 28 April 2012

The noise was clamorous

Hofuf marches are east of the city of Hofuf and are probably better referred to as Hassa marches since they are in the region but not really close to the city. They are actually closer to the "eastern villages".

Either way it is an Interesting Bird Area (IBA) which I visited on Thursday and Friday.

As I said in yesterday's blog, one of the most immediate features of birding there is the noise and its really down to one bird - clamorous reed warbler.  

clamorous reed warbler at Hassa marshes

There are two good pieces of news associated with this. the first is that the bird is a "lifer" for me and the second is that it has a habit of singing from an exposed perch.

some of the reeds at Hassa marshes

This habit of being on exposed reeds from time to time is much closer to the behaviour of great reed warbler than European reed warbler and I can't rule out the possibility that the latter was also present though the noise of clamorous reed warbler made identification by sound impossible (for me anyway). 

clamorous reed warbler singing loudly

Taking photos was relatively straight forward although all the shots were from a distance.

same bird but not singing

The picture above is the same bird as it the previous picture but now it has stopped singing.

another clamorous reed warbler

From most angles the bill looks straight but it can show some curvature especially among younger birds. I had to check the identity of a couple of birds with this feature. I had considered basra reed warbler but it would appear it's bill is longer and stronger.

graceful prinia

One other bird shared some of the same habits as the clamorous reed warbler but couldn't really be confused on size alone. This was graceful prinia which is also common at the marshes.

I saw over 40 species at the marshes. Tomorrow I hope to show many of the other land birds at the marshes including other warblers and some chats. 

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