Monday 27 December 2010

Green sandpiper at Al Marj

The last of three places I re-visited last Wednesday (my last stop before I left Libya for my Christmas break)  was the run-off stream from Al Marj. Unlike the other two it has been a month a two since I last went there.

There are two birds I saw last time which i really wanted to record by photograph but which evaded me last time. These were moorhen and green sandpiper.

I was pretty sure the moorhen is resident and that a green sandpiper or two would be still around simply because it their apparently favoured habitat of smelly slowly flowing water (sic).

green sandpiper, Al Marj

Both birds were still present but the moorhen was again too fast even though he got tangled up for a moment in an acacia bush. I was really, really pleased to finally spot a green sandpiper before it spotted me. I am beginning to understand the habits of this bird which always makes spotting easier. 

One new bird I saw this time was grey wagtail among the more abundant white wagtail.  Grey wagtail like flowing water and there is not that much in Libya so it was hardly surprising they gravitated to this place.

the run-off stream (or open sewer meets natural ground water!) at Al Marj 

This area is classic territory for cattle egret particularly because at one point there is a rubbish tip too. 

some of the cattle egret at Al Marj run -off stream

I was a little surprised to see one little egret among the cattle egret. This bird is more fussy about its environment.

little egret, Al Marj

On previous occasions at this site I have seen hoopoe. I can confirm I saw it once again and its fairly obvious that it is resident  here. Hoopoe in Libya are usually associated with wet or watered ground such as a farm or watered lawns or (in this case) near a run off stream. The reason is probably because these areas produce more worms and grubs than the more normal sandy ground elsewhere.

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