Thursday 2 December 2010

Another wadi, more corn buntings

Given my good birding at Wadi Al Bab, the week before I decided to visit another wadi south of Jebel Akhdar (mountain range) last Friday and see what it had to offer.

map showing position of of wadi al hasarim (blue) and wadi al bab (red) -from google earth

There are a large number of wadis in a rain shadow area south of Jebel Akhdar. As far as I know none have been birded before. The map above shows Wadi Al Bab (red) and Wadi Al Hasarim (blue). At this time of year there usually have some water.

part of wadi al hasarim

I had only about an hour before dusk at Wadi Al Hasarim because I visited two other sites earlier in the day so things were a bit rushed.

corn bunting, Wadi Al Hasarim

However, one thing was obvious, Wadi Al Hasarim had its own flock of wintering corn bunting just like Wadi Al Bab 75 kilometres way. As I said last week we can safely change the map of the winter distribution of corn bunting in Libya to include the wadis south of Jebel Akhdar as well as the land on and north of the mountain.

corn bunting on look-out

I love the way each corn bunting wants a look out post just like in spring except here they have to share their bushes with a few others!

local chaffinch

There was another flock sharing the wadi with the corn bunting.They were chaffinch. They were from the local sub-species -africana. This is not residential territory for them. They are resident 25 or 30 kilometres north on the Jebel Ahkhdar in the cypress woods. Clearly they roam a bit in winter.

I think this is a new observation because the guide book distribution map does not reflect this.

great grey shrike

Other than the chaffinch and the corn bunting, most of the "usual suspects" were there. The shrike was great grey shrike (probabaly aucheri) rather than desert grey shrike (elegans).


Of course, stonechat was present and a small number of chiffchaff.

Just as I left as dusk was approaching I saw six curlew fly over and it looked like they landed just over the hill ridge. I presume they had come home to roost for the night.  I had no idea curlew fly so far away from the coast to roost.

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